October usually brings cooler
weather to Southern California (although hot Santa Ana winds can wreak havoc).
Cooler fall temperatures mean a more pleasant gardening experience, say experts at Agromin, an
Oxnard-based manufacturer of earth-friendly soil products made from organic
material collected from more than 50 California communities.
Remove Summer Vegetable Plants; Plant Winter
heartiest summer vegetables will produce well into fall but many vegetable
plants will have stopped producing no matter how much loving care you provide.
It's time to remove them and plant winter vegetables. October is the optimal
time to plant beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts,
cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, kale, lettuce, parsley, peas, radish, spinach,
potatoes, turnips, winter zucchini and celery. Revive your garden soil before
planting with a 2-inch layer of compost.
Update Herb Garden: Plant fresh oregano,
parsley, rosemary, chives, cilantro, dill, fennel and thyme. Plant Italian basil
for nearly year-round leaf production.
Plant Cloves of Garlic: If you love garlic, you'll
love the fresh taste of garlic from your garden. Plant cloves with the pointy
side up, one to three inches deep and three to five inches apart. During fall
and winter, the cloves will form a strong root system. Expect leaves in spring
with a clove harvest in summer. Plant in raised beds or in well-draining soil.
Plant Ground Cover: Plant
perennial ground cover once and watch it spread into a beautiful quilt of
greens and flowers. Ground cover that does particularly well in Southern
California include creeping thyme, lamium, vinca, primrose, armeria, mondo
grass and lamb's ear. Don't forget native wildflowers. Choose a western seed mix that has both
annuals and perennials including California poppies, larkspur, linaeria,
clarkia, Chinese houses, godetia and gypsophila. Spread these seeds in your
flower garden. They will thrive after winter rains.
Aerate Lawns: Soil under lawns compact over
time preventing water and air reach from reaching roots. October is a good time to aerate your lawn. An aerator
will lift out one-inch "plugs" of soil from the grass leaving plenty
of room for water and air to connect with roots. Aerators are usually available
for rent at equipment rental stores.
Harvest Pumpkins: Pumpkins are ready to harvest once their connecting
vines are dry and the pumpkin rind is hard. Leave a two-inch stem
attached when removing pumpkins from the vine. If uncut, pumpkins can remain
edible for up to six months after harvesting. After carving a Jack O'Lantern,
save the seeds for eating. Separate them from the pulp, wash and then dry
thoroughly. Coat them with oil, sprinkle them garlic powder or any other
seasoning. Spread the seeds on a cookie sheet and cook for 25 minutes in a 400-degree
oven, turning them at least once. Remove from the oven and lightly sprinkle
with salt and toss. Cool before eating.
Prepare for Hot October
Ana winds are always possible in October. While you can generally cut back on
watering in October, hot winds can dry out gardens in a matter of hours. Adjust
your watering schedule accordingly. Make
sure just-planted young trees are properly staked to withstand strong winds.
For more gardening tips, go to
manufactures earth-friendly soil products for farmers, landscapers and
gardeners. Agromin is also the organics recycler for over 50 California
communities. Each month, Agromin receives more than 30,000 tons of organic
material and then uses a safe, natural and sustainable process to transform the
material into premium soil products. The results are more vigorous and
healthier plants and gardens, and on the conservation side, the opportunity to
close the recycling circle, allow more room in landfills and reduce greenhouse
Labels: gardening tips for October, Southern California gardening ideas for October, what to plant in October