www.bilingualweekly.com | From the San Joaquin Master Gardeners, by Marcy Sousa
Protect your backyard grape crop from scavenging birds. Attach flash tape to some of the branches; or, place netting over the vines and secure it to the ground.
Pick pears, late season apples, late peaches. Irrigate if rains have not started. Pick up all fallen fruit; compost if possible.
- Fertilize citrus for the last time this year.
- Tomato hornworms are arriving late this year. Look for them when they are actively munching on your tomato leaves, early in the morning or just after sunset.
- Plant a short row of lettuce every two weeks until mid-October. The loose leaf varieties, including Green Ice and Ruby, do best here.
- Keep cabbage loopers, aphids and whiteflies away from your winter vegetable crops with row covers. Remove the dead and dying summer vegetable plants from your garden.
- Work compost into the area, giving it a head start for next year’s crops. A good rule of thumb: rototill in one cubic yard of compost for every 300 square feet of garden space.
- Add organic matter to the garden bed before planting winter crops such as broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, cabbage, onion sets, garden peas, garlic, carrots and beets.
- Ferocious winter winds that whip through the Delta and the Central Valley are on the way; check the ties on stakes that support young trees and tree roses. However, to allow a tree’s root system to fully develop, don’t continue to stake any tree that can stand straight on its own. One year for tree stakes is usually enough.
- Nurseries will have a good selection of tulips, daffodils and crocus bulbs this month for planting in October. Chill tulip bulbs in the refrigerator for four weeks before planting.
- Looking for perennials that will provide some Christmastime color in the yard? Plants for our area that are available now include euryops, primroses, freeway daisy and winter blooming bergenia. Add shrubs that bloom in the winter. Among the ones that do well here are camellias, daphne, forsythia and flowering quince.
- Plant daffodil bulbs every two to three weeks from now through November to prolong the bloom period next spring.
- Nurseries have a good supply of winter blooming annuals in supply now; don’t overlook their selection of onion sets, which will be coming soon.
- Fertilize roses for the last time this year. Use a liquid fertilizer and make sure it is well watered in.
- Fertilize cool season lawns: bent, bluegrass, fescue and rye. Water lawns deeply, at least once week if not raining.
- Shorter days and cooler daytime temperatures reduces the amount of water your lawn needs. Cut back your sprinkler time by 25%. Feed your lawn now with a complete, slow release fertilizer. Look for three prominent numbers listed on the bag, which refer to the percentage of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus of the fertilizer.
- If your automatic sprinklers come on while you’re asleep, take a few minutes to turn them on manually to check for any broken or clogged sprinkler heads.
- Overseed Bermuda grass lawns with perennial rye and topdress with 1” compost to keep lawns green during the winter months. Keep lawn moist until seedlings emerge
Have a question about gardening? Call us at 953-6112 or visit our web-site at http://sjmastergardeners.ucdavis.edu