Plant Cole Crops
Begin planting cole crops such as broccoli, cabbage, kohlrabi, and collards this month. Water them in well with a dilute soluble fertilizer solution. Then keep them growing vigorously with regular feeding. Watch for looper caterpillars that will want to show up to spoil the show.
Rejuvenate Herbs for Fall
Shear back herb plants that are ragged looking from the effects of summer. Fertilize them lightly and mulch the soil surface. They will respond with new growth in the coming months. Fall is a great time for herbs and that new growth will develop some wonderful flavor for cooking and making herbal oils and vinegars.
Protect Fall Transplants
Cool season transplants going in during the next few weeks will benefit from a temporary shade cover to help them make the adjustment. Small branches pruned from shrubs or bamboo and stuck in the soil on the southwest side work great. Strips of shade cloth or row cover fabric folded double and suspended over the plant row also work well.
Keep Roses in Top Condition
Roses are gearing up for their big fall bloom show. Keep foliage diseases in check with periodic spraying. That foliage is the carbohydrate factory that brings on more blooms. Fertilize every few weeks and keep the soil moist.
Stop Fertilizing Cold Tender Woody Plants
Woody ornamentals and fruit trees that are subject to cold damage need to start slowing their growth during the coming months. Hold off on fertilizing these plants for the remainder of the year to avoid late season growth flushes that would make them more susceptible to injury from an early hard freeze.