San Diego Master Gardeners
HomeFAQ'sSolve a ProblemSchool Programcommunity gardens & farmsResourcesspeakerscalendarcontact
San Diego Master Gardeners
Jump to: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec | Contract Listing
Add Edibles to the Landscape
  • Many cool-season vegetables can be tucked into corners of existing beds and borders, transforming a garden into a chic edible landscape. Lettuces are especially adaptable and available in mouth-watering colors that delight the eye and palate. Start seeds in recycled six-packs or four-inch pots for transplanting, or pick up transplants at a nursery. Some eye-catching varieties to consider are mahogany ‘Sea of Red' from Renee's Garden (www.reneesgarden.com) , burgundy tipped mini-romaine ‘Breen' from Johnny's Selected Seeds (www.johnnyseeds.com) and ruffled ‘Lollo Rosso' from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (www.rareseeds.com).
Camellias
  • If Camellias haven't set buds give them some 0-10-10 or 2-10-10 and keep the plants moist but not really wet.
Cool Kale
  • Among the cool-season vegetables to plant now, kale is one of the most nutritious and handsome. This leafy vegetable native to Europe’s Mediterranean coast and a favorite of WWII Victory gardens is low in calories and high in calcium, vitamins A and C, and antioxidants. In the garden, its edible leaves are decorative, whether curled, crinkled or smooth in a variety of greens tinged with blue or violet. Even the so-called ornamental kales, frilly rosettes with green, pink and purple leaves popular for fall and winter color, are edible. Popular named varieties include ‘Toscano,’ purple-stemmed ‘Red Russian,’ Italian heirloom ‘Lacinato,’ and the purple-leaved ‘Red Bor.’ A good selection is at Johnny’s Selected Seeds (www.johnnyseeds.com). Grow kale in sun or part shade and provide moderate water.

Deadhead Roses
  • 'Julia Child'

    Enjoy the beauty of blooming roses now through October with a few easy steps, starting this month when spring's first bloom peaks and ebbs. Start by cutting roses either while they are in full bloom to perfume your home or when they are spent and no longer adding beauty to the garden. Both steps are a kind of pruning that will stimulate new blooms. As a rule of thumb, make the cut above a growth node at a five-leaflet leaf pointing outward at a mid-way point on the cane. Cut too high on the cane and the new roses will have weak stems; too low a cut will slow rebloom and may result in an unsightly plant. Feed lightly with an organic or all purpose fertilizer and water deeply. Repeat after each bloom cycle to keep roses flourishing - and flowering in the months ahead.
Dig and Divide
  • The performance of some perennial all-stars fades when they grow into dense, often unattractive clumps. Now is a good time to dig and divide to rejuvenate these plants and use the cuttings around your garden. Some candidates include daylilies (in inland gardens), alstroemerias, clivia, agapanthus (preferably late in the month), fortnight lily (Dietes) and iris. All have fleshy roots and shallow root balls. Dig them up and divide the clumps with a sharp knife or shovel. Then replant immediately. Other perennials to divide now include yarrow, verbena, African daisy (Arctotis), gazanias, ivy geraniums and dianthus. Cut through the clumps with a sharp shovel going deep enough to retrieve a good amount of roots. Then replant. Time digging and dividing to coincide with a cool spell and water the cuttings regularly to help them become established.
Drought-Tolerant Plants To Grow
  • For more than four decades, Mountain States Wholesale Nursery (MSWN) based in Glendale, Arizona, has specialized in desert plants for drought-tolerant gardens. Below are six recent introductions picked by MSWN's local representative Wendy Proud suited for San Diego gardens and readily available in area nurseries.

    • Blue Emu-Bush (Eremophila hygrophana) – An Australian native, this compact shrub to three feet tall and wide can handle heat and cold. Its silvery-white foliage is a dramatic foil for violet-blue tubular flowers that bloom almost year round. Hummingbird magnet.
    • ‘El Toro' Bull Grass (Muhlenbergia emersleyi ‘El Toro' – Bull grass is native to the rocky oak woodlands of Arizona and Texas. This variety is prized for its blue-green leaves and purple-tinged rosy panicles that appear in the fall and turn straw-colored in winter. Grows in dense clumps to 3 feet tall. Sun or part shade; very drought-tolerant.
    • ‘Yellow' Yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora ‘Yellow') – Like the familiar red-flowered form of this tough yucca, the arching foliage on this variety is dark green with curled slender white threads along the edges. But its flowers on spikes that rise up to six feet tall are a soft yellow. Likes full sun, well-drained soil and minimal water once established.
    • Damianita (Chrysactinia mexicana) –Sunny yellow daisies top this compact mounding shrub in spring and fall. The Texas native is also famed for its aromatic dark green foliage. Grows to two feet tall and wide in full sun;  drought tolerant once established. Can become woody over time.
    • Purple Prickly Pear (Opuntia ‘Santa Rita Tubac') – A must-have for cactus collectors, purple prickly pear shows off pads washed in shades of lavender in winter. As temperatures warm, the pads turn a soft blue-green. Spring flowers are golden yellow. Grows to 6 feet tall in full sun. Plant away from high-traffic areas.
    •  Phoenix' Mesquite (Prosopis hybrid ‘Phoenix') - This hybrid combines the desirable traits of a strong grafted root system, thornless branches and slow growth. Vase-shaped and often multi-trunked, it grows up to 30 feet tall. Yellow flowers in spring.
Establish New Plants
  • Too often drought-tolerant plants succumb to inadequate water during the initial year in the landscape. A watering schedule for the first 12 months helps these plants become “established” – growing root systems to make the most of limited soil moisture. Most perennials, shrubs and trees planted this month need to be watered to wet the root ball every other day, more often during hot spells, for the first two weeks. Then water once or twice a week, cutting back when it rains, but resuming if rainfall is sparse or intermittent. In the months to come, water deeply to reach expanding root systems but gradually reduce the frequency while always adjusting during heat extremes. In a year’s time, these plants will be well on the way to being water wise.
Force Paperwhites
  • Forcing Tazetta-type narcissus like paperwhites is a holiday tradition among gardeners who like the flowers’ strong perfume and spring-time personality. For a blooming bunch by Thanksgiving, start them on Oct. 4. Pick fat, firm bulbs because they will deliver the most flowers. Fill a container about halfway with potting soil, pebbles, gravel or even marbles then add the bulbs, packing them into an attractive pattern for the best display. Add more of your chosen medium so that only the tips of the bulbs protrude. Water to keep them moist but not soggy. If growing them with no soil, add water to touch the bottoms of the bulbs, until the roots appear. Then keep water off the base of the bulbs. Place in a cool, bright spot. Flowers should appear in about 5-6 weeks, with the bloom continuing for a month. When the flowers fade, discard the bulbs.
Fruit Trees and Vines
    • Continue periodic, thorough irrigation to maintain adequate soil moisture until winter rains begin.
    • Operate drip irrigation systems until we receive at least two inches of rain; this helps prevent salt injury.
    • Prune out dead and severely damaged shoots of deciduous trees before foliage drops.
    • Cover grape clusters with paper bags (poke small holes for ventilation) to protect maturing fruit from yellow jackets and birds.
    • Check on maturity of kiwi fruit. Maturity is measured by a change in seed color from white to brown or black. Pick large fruit first, but harvest before fruit softens.
Get Landscape Design Advice
  • Shocked by high water bills? Determined to transform your garden into a waterwise landscape but not sure where to begin? Jump-start your makeover with a professional landscape design consultation at The Water Conservation Garden. The 45-minute sessions are with consultants who specialize in drought-tolerant landscapes. Homeowners bring photos and dimensions of a targeted area; they leave with a design plan and plant list. Cost is $75 ($60 for garden members). Call (619) 660-0614, ext. 10, to learn dates and availability.
Grow a Salad Bowl Garden
  • Tender lettuces and their perfect pairings - radishes, peas, carrots, beets, spinach, scallions and broccoli - love sunny, cool weather. Planted now, many will be ready for harvest in time for Thanksgiving. If you’re a gourmet cook, grow some restaurant favorites from seeds, like colorful mesclun mixes (www.reneesgarden.com), jewel-toned Chioggia beets and micro-greens (www.botanicalinterests.com), or purple carrots and orange cauliflower (www.johnnyseeds.com). In general, start seeds earlier in the season than starter plants from nurseries. A detailed vegetable planting guide is under “Resources” at www.mastergardenerssandiego.org.

Grow Bulbs Suited to Southern California
  • Yes, tulips and daffodils will grow here, but why be limited to these traditional bulbs when there are many others ideal for our Mediterranean-style climate. Here are some selections from Jim Threadgill of Easy To Grow Bulbs in Oceanside (www.easytogrowbulbs.com ).

    •  Watsonia - These South African natives are becoming known as the gladiolus of Southern California. Flower spikes 3-4 feet tall rise above sword-like foliage. Fragrant blossoms range from pure white and cherry red to pastels and bicolor. Will naturalize.
    • Freesia - Another South African native, freesias are prized for their fragrance and rainbow of colors. Flower stems grow 18 inches tall, making these plants ideal for edging borders. Look for new shades of blue and bicolor combinations. Naturalizes.
    • Spanish Bluebell (Hyacinthoides hispanica) - Some consider these natives of Spain as hyacinth substitutes for their blue flowers on sturdy stems up to 20 inches tall. Unlike hyacinths, the bell-shaped blossoms are not scented. ‘Excelsior' is a popular dark blue hue.
    • Golden Dawn' narcissus - This tazetta hybrid is among a group of narcissuses that are ideal for mild winter climates. Yellow with a dark gold cup, multiple flowers top each stem. The scent is sweet and not as powerful as the familiar ‘'Paper White' tazetta. Plus the bulbs are deer, gopher and rat proof.
    • Giant White Squill (Urginea maritima) - This Mediterranean monster of a bulb - each can weigh 6 to 8 pounds - performs like the familiar naked lady (Amaryllis belladonna). Foliage appears first, lasting November to April, and then dies back, making way for towering flower spikes to 6 feet in September. Each is covered with thousands of small white flowers that open from top to bottom for a month. Avoid excess summer water.
    • Saffron Crocus (Crocus sativus) - Plant these fall-blooming crocus in October and they will bloom by Thanksgiving. Low growing, the  lilac flowers are the source of saffron used in cooking. Harvest and dry the orange-red stigmas for use in paella and other dishes.
    • Eremurus – Four to 5-foot tall flower spikes gave this Asia native its common name of foxtail lily or desert candle. ‘Cleopatra' has orange sherbet flowers, while the Shelford hybrids are a mix of pastels. Handle brittle roots carefully when planting.
    • Trumpet Lilies - Stems can top 6-feet tall when these bulbs, also known as Aurelian hybrids, burst into bloom in late spring. Locate them to enjoy their rich perfume. Trumpet blooms with bold stamens are golden apricot on ‘African Queen', lemon-yellow on ‘Golden Splendor' and rose on ‘Pink Perfection'.

    Threadgill recommends planting in October as the soil cools. If purchased in advance of planting, store in a mesh or paper (not plastic) bag in a cool, dry location.

Grow Bullet-Proof Plants
  • Landscape designer Doug Kalal of Great Gardens Landscape Design (www.sdgreatgardens.com) names these versatile plants as his five bullet-proof beauties. All are easy to find at area nurseries.

    • Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia leucantha) – Velvety purple flowers dance above scented grey-green foliage spring and fall on this drought-tolerant sage. Refresh in late November (December inland) by cutting close to the ground; cutback again by half in July. Four feet tall and wide; ‘Santa Barbara’ is a foot shorter.
    • Prostrate Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Prostratus’) -  This handsome herb handles poor soils on hot, dry slopes with ease and bears pale blue flowers winter into spring that are loved by honey bees.  Spreads 4-8 feet wide
    • Silver Sheen Pittosporum (Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Silver Sheen’) – Tiny leaves glisten on this tall slender evergreen shrub. Tough and water wise, it fits into narrow side gardens masking fences and walls. Grows 10-12 feet tall.
    • Marble Queen Mirror Plant (Coprosma repens ‘Marble Queen’) – Drought-tolerant and easy care with no leaf litter, marble mirror plants are garden chameleons with slick green and creamy yellow foliage that changes with the seasons and sun exposure. Slow growing to 4 feet tall and wide. Good near pools.
    • Forest Pansy Redbud (Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’) – An all-season performer, ‘Forest Pansy’ shows off best in spring when tiny pink flowers along bare branches are followed by deep purple heart-shaped leaves. Fall foliage is a brilliant orange-gold. Grows to 15 feet tall and wide. Full sun along the coast; afternoon shade inland.
Grow onions
  • Onions – scallions, bulb and gourmet cipollini – thrive in cool-season gardens here. Plant bulb onion seeds now, making sure to select short-day varieties ideal for southern regions like San Diego. Some tried-and-true varieties are yellow ‘Grano’, ‘Granex’ and ‘Texas Super Sweet’ and red ‘Desert Sunrise’ and ‘Red Burgundy’. Onion sets (small bulbs) are good for a quick crop of green onions but they are not the best varieties for bulbs in our area. Try monthly successive plantings of scallions for fresh green onions winter into spring. Choose a sunny site, water and feed these shallow-rooted plants regularly to encourage strong top growth and bigger bulbs. Harvest scallions when tops are a foot or so long; harvest bulbs in summer when tops yellow and fall over.
Grow Plants With Flair
  • California-based grower Monrovia is always a good source of exciting landscape plants. Here are some choice selections - all drought-tolerant once established - for fall planting. Look for them at Armstrong Garden Centers and other specialty nurseries.

    • ‘Little Ollie’ Dwarf Olive (Olea europaea) - Add Tuscan flair to a small garden or patio with this evergreen shrub that grows 4-6 feet tall and wide. Narrow dark green leaves; non-fruiting. Pairs well with lavender, rosemary and other Mediterranean classics. Sun.
    • ‘Winter Bee’ Spanish Lavender (Lavandula stoechas) - Dense and floriferous, this Spanish lavender is covered April through July with fragrant dark purple flower wands topped by wing-like bracts. Grows 2 feet tall and up to 3 feet wide. Sun.
    • ‘Cimarron’ Texas Ranger (Leucophyllum zygophyllum) - This tough shrub is a beauty too, with silvery gray-green foliage and lavender-blue flowers in spring and fall. Compact; grows 3 feet tall and wide. Sun.
    • ‘Hearts of Gold’ Redbud (Cercis canadensis) - The popular ‘Forest Pansy’ redbud has a competitor with this first gold-leafed redbud. The show starts with red-purple flowers in spring before the deciduous tree leafs out. Shaded leaves turn green. Grows to 15 feet tall. Little water once established.
    • ‘Baby Bliss’ Flax Lily (Dianella revoluta) - Foliage blades are blue green on this modest-sized option to over-worked phormiums. Pale lavender flowers in spring are followed by berries. Grows 12 inches tall. Tolerates poor soil and salt spray. Sun to part-sun.
    • Arabian Lilac (Vitex trifolia ‘Purpurea’) - Foliage is also the star on this shrub that grows 6-8 feet tall and wide. Leaf tops are a purple-tinged green and undersides are an eye-catching lilac. Small lavender flowers appear in late summer. Thrives along the coast and inland.
Grow Spooky Black Plants
  • Deliciously dark foliage and flowers pop in gardens regardless of the season. But they seem especially mysterious when ghosts and goblins prowl. Below are some to add now. Find them at specialty nurseries and online retailers.

    • Leptospermum ‘Dark Shadows’ – Plant this drought tolerant shrub or small tree in full sun to bring out the inky maroon flush on its 1-inch long dark olive leaves. Creamy white flowers in summer. Grows to 15 feet tall.
    • Nemophila ‘Pennie Black’ – A relative of the California wildflower baby blue eyes, these annual flowers are deep burgundy-black strikingly edged in white. Grows to10 inches tall. Self sows. Papaver ‘Black Peony’ – Jade-green foliage and frilly purple-black flowers as dense as carnations make this 3-4 foot tall poppy a standout in spring gardens. Reseeds
    • Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’ and ‘Plum Purdy’ – Shiny-leafed rosettes on these popular succulents are almost black, with undercurrents of burgundy and oxblood. Stylish contrast with silver and gray-green plants.
    • Ipomoea batatas ‘Sweet Caroline Sweetheart Purple’– This is one of a group of bold-hued sweet potato vines.  Leaves are black purple with a gunmetal gray glow. Ideal for containers and hanging baskets.
    • Hellebore hybrids - These versatile late winter bloomers now blossom with deep-hued bells in shades of burgundy and purple drenched in black. Flowers are a smart contrast with attractive foliage.
Grow Sweet Peas
  • Scent, frilly blossoms and romantic colors – who wouldn’t want sweet peas in the garden. Plant seeds now for this easy-to-grow annual and enjoy girlie bouquets by spring. Renee Shepherd of Renee’s Garden likes these varieties for San Diego gardens.

    • April in Paris – “It’s our most fragrant,” Shepherd says. Creamy yellow flowers are blushed with lavender that deepens with age.
    • Zinfandel – Ruffled blossoms are deep burgundy.
    • Blue Celeste – This British-bred variety is the pale blue of a winter sky.
    • Jack & Jill – Soft blue and salmon-rose flowers cover this knee-high (3 feet) mix ideal for containers.
    • Queen of Hearts – Another mix of Valentine-pretty red, burgundy and cream.

    Give sweet peas good air circulation and excellent drainage. And remember “the more flowers you pick, the more you’ll get,” Shepherd says.  Order seeds and find detailed growing instructions at www.reneesgarden.com.

Irrigation Changes
  • If refurbishing garden plantings, consider upgrading irrigation at the same time. New rotating sprinkler heads deliver water in a way that mimics rainfall; check with your local water agency for possible rebates on them. Run systems to check for leaks and whether plants have overgrown existing risers. Make the necessary fixes or replace these systems with more efficient drip irrigation that delivers water right to plant roots. New systems have reliable options to troublesome emitters that too readily clog.
Lace trees
  • Beautify landscape trees and reduce the risk of wind damage with an annual "lacing," skillful and artistic pruning to reveal a tree’s structure and allow wind to pass through. Gardens also may benefit from added filtered sunlight. Certified arborists will know the best time of year to "lace" individual trees. They also can help save trees severely damaged by wind or fire. To find a certified arborist in your area, see the website of the Professional Tree Care Association of San Diego County, www.ptcasandiego.org and the International Society of Aboriculture, www.isa-arbor.com

Mulch
  • Clear up weeds and mulch ornamental beds.
Oleanders Under Attack
  • Tough, waterwise and carefree oleanders all around the county are falling victim to an incurable bacterial disease. Oleander leaf scorch, which blocks nutrients and water flow from the roots to the leaves, is spread by the same glassy winged sharp shooter that carries the grape-vine killing Pierce's disease. Leaves on infected plants turn yellow and die, a process accelerated by hot, dry weather. Affected branches can be pruned out, but doing so will not save the plant. Gardeners forced to replace dead or dying oleanders used as hedges or screens might consider purple hop bush (Dodonaea viscose ‘Purpurea'), lavender starflower (Grewia occidentalis), or ‘Long John' Grevillea). Replanting oleanders again is not recommended since the new plants may be felled by the same disease. More information is at the Pest Note "Oleander Leaf Scorch" at www.ipm.ucdavis.edu.

Order Wildflower Seeds
  • Fall and winter rains bring poppies and other native wildflowers to life early in the new year. When a soaking rain is due, be prepared to sow seeds for the state flower, tidy tips, baby blue eyes and more. For decades, the Theodore Payne Foundation has been an excellent source of all-native California wildflower seeds. Choose from mixes designed for coastal, inland or mountain gardens or from original mixes developed by Payne, a pioneering nurseryman in Los Angeles. Purchase a packet or pound at www.theodorepayne.org, where you'll also find plenty of seed sowing tips. Store seeds in a cool, dry, dark place until time to plant.

Peach Leaf Curl Options
  • Two fungicides used to control debilitating peach leaf curl in peach and nectarine trees have been taken off the market. To prevent this disease, gardeners can make their own fungicide by following the directions in UC Pest Note 7481, Bordeaux Mixture. The process requires buying a small quantity of copper sulfate and agricultural lime to make a stock solution of each chemical. Combine them and dilute with water to make the Bordeaux spray, which is applied twice while the trees are dormant. Lime by the pound can be purchased at City Farmers Nursery; copper sulfate is available from Amazon.com. For more on peach leaf curl, consult UC Pest Note 7426, Peach Leaf Curl.

Plant Native Trees
  • Sprawling oaks and sycamores aren’t suited for small urban lots, but several other native trees are good candidates. Some to consider for patio and street trees are the heat-loving desert willow (Chilopsis linearis) with its rosy-pink blooms; shiny-leaved Catalina cherry (Prunus ilicifolia ssp lyonii) with white flowers followed by red berries; western redbud (Cercis occidentalis) with deep pink flowers followed by heart-shaped leaves, the classic red-berried toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia) loved by birds or one of the tall blue-flowered wild lilacs (Ceanothus ‘Ray Hartman’) that grow to 20 feet or more. Fall is ideal for planting natives; shop for them and get advice from experts at the fall sale sponsored by the California Native Plant Society, San Diego chapter. Details are at www.cnpssd.org.
Plant Sweet Peas
  • As soon as air and ground temperatures drop, it’s time to plant seeds for sweet peas, cool season annuals with frilly blossoms and room-filling scent. Sweet pea specialist, Fragrant Garden Nursery in Brookings, Oregon, recommends Winter Elegance and Old-Fashioned varieties for San Diego gardens because they are the most heat tolerant. Choices include classics like ‘Cupani’s,’ a purple-blue and burgundy bicolor grown since 1696, the clear blue ‘Captain of the Blues’ and the deep maroon ‘Black Knight,’ as well as Winter Elegance pastels and new ‘Deep Red Elegance.’ Choose a sunny site with well draining soil dug down 12-18 inches and amended with compost. Soak the seeds for 24 hours before sowing, following package instructions. Keep soil moist, especially during Santa Anas, and provide a trellis or the like for the seedlings to climb.

Prune Trees "Up"
  • In a roaring wildfire, low-hanging branches can turn trees into torches in a matter of minutes. Early this month, as part of creating defensible space around your home, "prune" up trees, removing branches 6 feet or less from the ground. Branches overhanging the roof or eaves also should be removed, along with any dead wood. Wood saved for kindling should be stored well away from any structure. If possible, water trees deeply; the extra moisture adds to their fire-resistance, especially at the end of a particularly hot summer.
Refresh Containers For Fall
  • Containers benefit from a redo in advance of holiday festivities. Remove spent spring and summer annuals and overgrown perennials (now is a good time to move them to a garden bed). Add new soil and time release fertilizer before replanting
Remove branches properly
  • If an unsightly, diseased or broken tree branch needs to be removed, take care to protect the tree from harm. Improper pruning can make trees vulnerable to disease and pest infestations. Start by shortening the branch to a stub about a foot long. Make a cut on the underside of the branch about a third of the way through; then about an inch further out, on the top, make a second cut, cutting until the branch breaks off. Then make a final cut to remove the stub, taking care not to cut into the collar where the branch joined the trunk of the tree. Eventually this "wound" will be sealed off by callus tissue. A diagram is in "The Sunset Western Garden Book."
Rose Slug Remedies
  • carrot

    There's no mistaking the toll of voracious rose slugs. Shiny new leaves are perforated with holes or stripped of green leaving behind a lacy brown skeleton. The culprit actually isn't a slug, but the larvae of sawflies, tiny wasps. Sawflies lay eggs on the underside of leaves and when they hatch, the larvae feed there. At the first sign of damage inspect leaves for the light green caterpillar-like larvae about 1/2-inch long.  For minor infestations caught early, remove affected leaves and crush any larvae. Larger numbers can be treated with strong sprays of water to the underside of leaves or a coating of horticultural oil, neem oil or insecticidal soap. None of these treatments harms bees or other beneficial insects. Because this is not a caterpillar, Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) is not effective.

Sage in the Kitchen
  • Fresh sage flavors many of fall’s favorite dishes, including the Thanksgiving Day feast. To have snips from the garden available throughout the season, plant a culinary sage (Salvia officinalis) now while the soil and temperatures are warm. This drought-tolerant Mediterranean native likes sharp-draining soil in a sunny location. A short lived perennial, it should be replaced when it gets woody or leggy. Some named varieties with showy flowers and variegated foliage can be mixed with ornamentals in an eye-pleasing edible landscape. Look for ‘Tricolor’ with cream, pink and gray-green leaves, ‘Purpurascens’ with red-flushed new foliage, and ‘Aurae’ with gold and gray-green leaves. ‘Holt’s Mammoth’ has 4- to 5-inch long leaves.
Season with Homegrown Herbs
  • Many favorite herbs like it hot - basil, for example. But a good number thrive year-round here and a few that even prefer cool,wet weather. Some to add now to a cool-season kitchen garden are parsley, thymes, rosemary, culinary sages, winter savory, chervil, dill and fennel. For pizzazz, pick ‘Kebob’ rosemary with straight stems ideal as BBQ skewers.  Find herbs at area nurseries or specialty herb growers like Pearson’s Gardens and Herb Farm in Vista (www.pearsonsgardens.com).

Vegetables
    • Remove warm-season vegetables badly damaged by pests or diseases or past their prime production periods.
    • Prepare the soil for planting cool-season vegetables by incorporating composted organic matter and a pre-plant fertilizer high in phosphorus. Begin planting cool-season vegetables: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, beets, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, endive, fava beans, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, parsley, peas, potatoes (white), spinach and turnips.
    • Buy seeds of short-day onion hybrids (Grano or Granex), as well as garlic cloves to plant in November for bulb production next summer. Onion sets can be planted for a quick crop of green onions, but not for bulbs.
    • Dig sweet potatoes before any danger of frost. Be careful not to bruise roots. Dry thoroughly (one or two weeks), wrap in newspaper and store close to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
    • For information about Asian citrus psyllid go to www.Californiacitrusthreat.org.





HOME
SUBSCRIBE TO
OUR E-MAIL LIST
Facebook
READ OUR
NEWSLETTER

CONTACT
US
SEARCH: