Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

October, 2008
Regional Report

Plant Garlic Cloves

Garlic planted now will develop a strong root system over the winter, and leaf production can begin early in the spring, resulting in a large head next summer. So the sooner you plant them now in rich, well-drained soil, the larger they'll be at harvest.

Pumpkin Seed Snacks

Toast -- don't toss -- your pumpkin seeds when you carve your jack-o'-lantern. Separate the seeds from the stringy pulp by washing the seeds well. Spread them on a cookie sheet and sprinkle lightly with salt if desired. Toast them for three or four minutes at 375 degrees, stir, and toast another two or three minutes until they're evenly golden. Cool them to room temperature, and enjoy!

Feed for Fall/Winter

Feed all overwintering plants with a no-nitrogen (N), high-phosphorus (P), high-potassium (K) fertilizer to help them become cold-hardy.

Lawns: New, Reseeding

Seed new lawns or reseed thin spots in established ones. For good germination, water newly seeded lawns two or three times a day for the first two weeks. For another two weeks, water once a day. Then, change to watering only three times a week but for longer periods. You want the moisture to reach two to three inches down so the roots grow deeply into the well-prepared seedbed. When the grass gets bushy and about 3 inches tall -- about a month after sowing -- the lawn is ready for its first mowing. Allow the soil to become firm and fairly dry before mowing, however, to avoid compressing the new lawn with mower wheels and your footsteps.

Last Rose Care

Trim roses after their last flush of blooms, but hold off on severe pruning until they're fully dormant, in January. Feed them with a no-nitrogen, high-phosphorus, high-potassium fertilizer to help them harden off.

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