October in Your Garden:
Work in the Garden
Prepare for winter by picking up debris such as fallen fruit and leaves. When the rains start, debris becomes a home to a host of garden pests, particularly snails and slugs. Secure and trim any trellised plants and re-stake smaller trees. We can still get some hot, dry Santa Ana winds so take care of tender plants and container plants by shading them and mulching. Use a micronutrient foliar spray on plants suffering from chlorosis, particularly Azaleas, Bottlebrush, Citrus and Gardenia. Thin tree branches to decrease weight and reduce wind damage. Prune any dead or diseased limbs. Plants that require winter hardening are generally tender plants and sub-tropicals such as Hibiscus, Fuchsias, and Geraniums. Cut back on your watering and fertilizing schedule.
Now is a great time to plant citrus trees. Choose from a variety of citrus including grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange, tangelo, and mandarin. Deep water mature citrus trees every three to four weeks as needed. When watering, keep in mind that citrus have very deep roots, as deep as the tree is tall. Prune berry vines that bore fruit last year hard. Tie up new canes.
Plant container roses. Water once or twice a week as needed. Discontinue fertilizing.
Plant wintering annuals such as Calendula, Chrysanthemums, Dianthus, Lobelia, Pansy, Iceland Poppy, Primrose, Snapdragon, Stock, Alyssum, Impatiens, Begonia, and Viola. Protect from any hot spells by shading and extra watering.
- Wind damage can be a problem this month. Thin tree branches to decrease windage and reduce tree weight. If the tree is very large or valuable, or has grown over the house or busy traffic area, it would be wise to have it done professionally.
- Plant cool-weather herbs like cilantro, dill, fennel, and parsley.
- Plant cool-season vegetables like carrots, lettuce, radishes, and spinach. Set out transplants of broccoli and cabbage.