Now that we’re at the autumnal equinox, it’s time for the return of our cool season gardens. Here are some tips and chores that will get you further down the path.
- The next couple of months are perfect for planting and for making changes in your garden that will help reduce water use next year. Consider replacing thirsty plants with California natives that have lower water needs.
- If we do get some early fall rain, turn off the irrigation system, and remember to bait or trap for snails and slugs. They love this weather, too.
- The state might have eased off mandatory water restrictions, but California remains in a drought. Conserving water should always be a priority. Consider installing a rainwater harvesting system to reduce your use of tap water.
- If the past few months have shown us anything, it’s that wildfire can be deadly and destructive. Help protect your home by pruning low-lying branches of shrubs, clearing leaf buildup in eaves, cleaning up and shredding pine needles to use as mulch, and moving or eliminating highly flammable plants around your home.
- Allow fallen oak and redwood leaves to remain as mulch under these trees, but shred them if you are in a high fire zone.
- Clean up your garden beds in preparation for the winter. Remove all dropped and diseased leaves from roses, camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas. Compost these leaves only if you have a “hot” compost pile, otherwise, put them in your green waste bin.
- Add compost to your planting beds and at the beginning of October, plant cover crops in beds you won’t be using for your winter garden.
- Plant transplants of cabbage, chard, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce and garlic cloves. Starting in early October, plant broccoli, lettuce, peas, beets, carrots, mustards, onions, kale, radishes, snap peas by seed.
— Contra Costa Master Gardeners contributed to this report.
Published at Thu, 20 Sep 2018 14:00:43 +0000