October marks the beginning
of a new planting season in southern California as cooler weather makes it
easier for new plants to flourish.
Fall is Best Time To Plant During Drought: Cooler weather slows water evaporation and with
the sun lower on the horizon, less heat stress is placed on newly planted
vegetables, flowers, trees and shrubs. The lower air temperatures also means
new gardens need less moisture to grow and flourish. Of course, if Santa Ana
winds blow, gardeners will need to revert to a summer-like watering schedule.
Keep Watchful Eye On Trees:
are likely showing the effects of three years of little measurable rain. Evergreen needles may turn brown. Tree leaves may drop
prematurely or stay on the tree even if brown. If drought does not kill a
tree, lack of water can increase chances of insects or disease infestation. To
prevent this, slowly deep water to at least one foot below the surface within
the drip line (evergreens need watering at least three feet beyond the drip
line since their roots spread). Water every two weeks. Watering for only a short
time keeps roots shallow and heightens drought effects. Give trees top watering
priority—it is much more costly to remove and replace 20 or 30-year old mature
trees that has fallen victim to drought conditions than to keep current trees
October Is Ideal Month To Plant Trees and
Shrubs: Just about every type of tree
or shrub can be planted successfully in October (except tropical varieties).
This is especially the best time to plant California natives such as California
redbud, Cleveland sage, California lilac, Coast Live oak, Western Sycamore. All
require very little water once established. It is also the time to plant beds
with cool-season flowers. California poppies, alyssum, pansies, calendula,
candytuft, foxgloves, gazania, hollyhocks, snapdragons and stock add instant
Plant Your Edibles: Price-wise, you can usually
grow fall vegetables and herbs for less than the price for organic counterparts
in the store since water usage is usually less in fall. Fall favorites include
beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, lettuce,
mustard, onions, peas, radish and spinach. Herbs that also do well in fall are chives,
cilantro, dill, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme.
Plant Garlic: Now is the time to plant
garlic so large bulbs will be ready next summer. Planting in fall enables the
garlic plant to develop a strong root system during the cooler weather months.
Make sure garlic is planted in well-draining soil
Harvest Pumpkins: Pumpkins are reading to
harvest when the vines become dry. Cut the pumpkin stem two inches from the
vine. Pumpkins can stay fresh for up to three months after harvesting. If
carving a pumpkin for Halloween, save the seeds. Separate the seeds from the
pulp, wash and then spread them onto a cookie sheets. Sprinkle with salt or
seasoning and toast in the oven for three minutes at 375 degrees. Mix and then
toast for another two minutes. Cool to room temperature before eating.
Labels: best time to plant trees, fall vegetables, harvest pumpkins, plant garlic, trees and drought