Pacific Northwest

October, 2013
Regional Report

Plant Garlic

Garlic requires a cold treatment of 40 degrees F for two months to induce bulbing, so the cloves should be planted by mid-November. This will give them time to develop roots but not to emerge from the soil. Plant in a prepared bed, spacing cloves 4 to 6 inches apart and 3 to 4 inches deep, and mulch with compost or other organic matter to prevent winter injury.

Prepare Beds for Spring Planting

When your vegetables have ceased producing, remove the plants and any weeds and debris. If the plants are healthy, add them to the compost pile. Spread compost and/or lime over the soil and then rototill and rake smooth. Next spring add fertilizer, and come planting time you'll be ready to start your garden.

PIck Up Fallen Fruit

If you have fruit trees or ornamental trees that bear fruit, pick up the fallen fruit. Fruit left on the ground can harbor overwintering insects and diseases that can cause problems next year.

Don't Worry About Needle Drop

Everyone expects deciduous trees to lose their leaves in the fall, but actually evergreens do some shedding as well. Cedar trees drop older foliage (called flagging); spruces, pines, and hemlocks drop older needles. These events shouldn't cause concern. Healthy plants know when enough is enough and stop dropping needles at the appropriate time.

Sweeten Root Crops

Most fruits and vegetables should be harvested by now, but root crops, such as carrots, beets, turnips, and parsnips will have a sweeter flavor after a few frosts. They can be left in the ground until midwinter or longer if you mulch them with straw or chopped leaves to protect the crowns from freezing.

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