Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

November, 2001
Regional Report

Sow Wildflower Seeds

Now is the ideal time to plant wildflowers from seed. Clear the ground of weeds before planting to avoid competition. Scratch the surface of the soil so that the tiny roots can get a foothold after they germinate. After preparing the soil, scatter seeds over the surface, then just barely cover with fresh potting soil. Water gently to settle the seed in place. Once winter rains begin, stop watering. Poppies and lupine are two varieties that do very well in our climate.

Clean Up for Winter

\0\05{\0\0\0\0\0\0\0\0\0ompost 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. For faster composting, chop debris into small pieces.

Dig and Store Dahlia Tubers

It is not absolutely necessary to dig up your dahlia tubers for the winter if you have exceptionally well drained soil, but it's not a bad idea. Be very careful not to damage the tubers while digging them out of the ground, don't divide the clumps, remove any foliage or stems, then wash off the excess soil. Allow the tubers to dry overnight, then wrap them in damp moss and place in a perforated plastic bag. Dahlia tubers should never dry out completely. Store them in a well ventilated, cool area.

Continue Irrigation

Continue watering shrubs, lawns, flowerbeds, winter vegetable gardens and trees until winter rains begin in earnest. Although plants use less water now than earlier in the season, it's a good idea to keep them watered to prevent attacks from insect pests due to stress.

Prevent Blossom Blight

Keep the fallen flowers raked up from under sasanqua and japonica camellia plants. If fallen flowers are allowed to stay on the ground, it is possible that the plants will develop a fungus disease called blossom blight. Blossom blight is identified as unsightly brown edges on the delicate flowers while they are still on the shrub. Also, buds may drop without ever opening. Good grooming is the key to success with camellias.


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