Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

October, 2010
Regional Report

Water Still-Bearing Veggies

Keep watering tender plants still being harvested- beans, cucumbers, eggplants, okra, peppers, and tomatoes, both to keep them bearing and to protect them against early frosts. Don't allow plastic or glass covers to touch the foliage, however, or the frost may damage the foliage. Harvest all the fruits before the first hard freeze. If they are exposed to this frost, eat them immediately, or they'll spoil quickly.

Deep Water Grapevines and Trees

Give one last deep watering to grapevines and deciduous trees to make them more cold-hardy. Feed all overwintering plants with a no-nitrogen, high-phosphorus, high-potassium fertilizer to help them become cold-hardy.

Feed Subtropicals

Feed subtropicals like citrus and avocados with a fertilizer containing high levels of phosphorus and potassium but no nitrogen to help them become cold-hardy. Keep them watered, though, until the rains take over.

Plant Ground Covers as Green Manure

Plant ground covers- including fava (broad) beans, clover, mustard, oats, annual rye, wheat, and vetch- to be turned into the soil early in the spring as "green manure." Remove plant debris from soil surfaces, and cultivate the soil to bring underground overwintering pests and weed seeds to the surface.

New Roses?

Now that you've seen your roses perform over the summer, consider which you should replace or add. You can prepare the new planting holes, adding some organic matter and manure or long-release plant food. This will give plants a good start either this fall for transplants or next January for bareroot plants.

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