Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

October, 2012
Regional Report

Add New Plants

Fall is the ideal time to add new plants to your garden. The soil is still warm so roots get off to a galloping start, while the sun hangs lower in the sky and doesn't take such a toll on foliage. Always water immediately after planting to settle the roots into their new home. The exception is succulent plants, which need a few days of dry calm to establish themselves in the soil.

Order Spring Blooming Bulbs

Order or purchase spring blooming bulbs such as daffodils or tulips now. Stems will grow longer and stronger when the bulbs have spent six to eight weeks in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator. Pre-chilling is recommended for most spring blooming bulbs. Plant in the ground or pots in mid to late November for spring bloom.

Do Your Homework before Selecting a Tree

If you are planning on adding a tree to your landscape during the fall planting season please do your homework. Decide exactly where you want to plant the new tree. Are there conflicting overhead wires? Underground plumbing? Nearby sidewalks or driveways? Consider the height of the mature tree, whether it is deciduous or evergreen, and if it is messy, like a jacaranda. A tree will be with you for a long time. Make sure it will be a welcome addition to your home.

Set Out Yellowjacket Traps

Yellowjacket wasps are breeding now, meaning they are extremely active. Set traps for them if you plan to spend time outdoors; otherwise live and let live. Commercial pheromone traps are available at garden centers and nurseries. Set the traps far from outdoor dining areas and keep pet food dishes covered or indoors.

Lawn Grubs

If you're finding large portions of your lawn rolled back to reveal bare soil, chances are you have grubs feeding on the roots. Grubs are the larval stage of destructive insects such as Japanese beetles. Raccoons and skunks are pulling up your lawn in search of an easy meal of the grubs that reside just below the surface. Treat the problem with beneficial nematodes or milky spore powder, both of which can be applied now for control.

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