Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
Reset Automatic Irrigation Clocks
The days are getting shorter and landscape shrubs and trees are using less water. Even though we still have some hot weather to come, reduce the time on automatic irrigation clocks. Plants don't use as much water when days are short. Watering and fertilizing encourages new growth, something you want to avoid this time of year. Water new annual plantings but allow the rest of your garden to get ready for bed.
Remove Hiding Places for Slugs and Snails
Clean fallen debris from under shrubs. Snails and slugs hide by day in leaf litter and devour your garden by night. Removing their favorite hiding places will help keep your garden safe. Fallen debris also provides cozy bedding for hungry snails throughout the winter months, so be diligent!
Prepare Tuberous Begonias for Winter
Begin to taper off on water for tuberous begonias. They are ready to go into their dormant period. Once the foliage turns yellow, withhold water completely. When foliage is dry, dig and store tubers in a cool, dry area until next season. Dust tubers with sulfur powder to prevent fungus disease.
Remove yellow foliage and spent flower stalks from daylilies. Mulch around the base of the plants and fertilize with a balanced organic fertilizer to strengthen the root systems.
Plant for Permanence
Fall is the ideal time to plant shrubs and trees in your garden. The soil is still warm enough to encourage root growth and the sun has lost it's teeth, making life easy for tender foliage. Dig a wide planting hole to encourage roots to spread quickly. It's better to spend more time digging now than to spend more money later to replace dead plants.