Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
Continue Slug and Snail Patrol
Until the weather seriously cools, hungry slugs and snails will be feasting on your new spring plantings! Copper foil, diatomaceous earth or beer traps all work well in the battle against these hungry creatures.
Fertilize Rhododendrons and Camellias
If you didn't fertilize azaleas, rhododendrons and dogwoods earlier in the season, now is your last chance to enhance their spring bloom. Scratch the fertilizer into the top 1-2" of soil. Use an acid fertilizer formulated especially for rhododendrons.
Prevent Insect Pests and Fungus Disease
Pull up and compost spent summer annual and vegetable plants. Rake up and compost fallen leaves and debris from under shrubs and trees. By keeping the soil clean, you eliminate many fungus diseases and insect pests. For faster composting, chop debris into small pieces.
Care for Indoor Plants
Remove dust from indoor plants. Even a light coating of dust will prevent indoor plants from photosynthesizing. No fertilizer for indoor plants until early spring. Tropical plants need a rest period during the winter months. Cut back on water and fill saucers with gravel to create humidity trays or mist daily.
Dig and Store Dahlia and Begonia Tubers
Put your precious dahlias and begonias to bed for the winter by digging the plants carefully from the ground. Discard any tubers that have been nicked by the shovel. Shake off excess soil and allow the tubers to dry in a single layer until the foliage has turned brown. At that point, remove and compost the foliage, store clean tubers in sawdust or shredded newspaper in a cool, dry area until the soil has warmed in the spring.