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Take a stroll through your garden with a morning cup of coffee or tea.

Tasks:  Collect ripened seeds of favorites and store for next year. Start planning for fall planting.  Select plants that are resistant to common diseases and insect pests and choose an appropriate site for each one.

Pruning: While cutting and deadheading roses, prune lightly to shape bushes and encourage fall bloom.

Fertilizing: Apply a complete fertilizer to warmseason lawns such as Bermuda and zoysia at the rate of 1 pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn. 

Planting: Perennials: carpet bugle (Ajuga reptans), alstroemeria, columbine (Aquilegia).  Annuals: snapdragon (Antirrhinum), English daisy (Bellis perennis). Bulbs, corms, tubers: giant allium, naked lady (Amaryllis belladonna), Anemone blanda, purchase now, plant by Thanksgiving. Fruits and vegetables: broccoli, cabbage. Trees, shrubs, vines: Strawberry tree (Arbutus), barberry (Berberis).

Enjoy now:  Annuals and perennials: yarrow (Achillea), floss flower (Ageratum), aster. Bulbs, corms, tubers: Autumn crocus. Trees, shrubs, vines: abelia, bluebeard (Caryopteris).  Fruits and vegetables: apple, beans, bell peppers, nectarines.

Things to ponder: If you do not use your lawn area, consider replacing it with a drought tolerant planting area or vegetable garden. Potted plants benefit from mulch to reduce evaporation and suppress weeds.

Drought tip: As summer begins to wind down, adjust irrigation timers to reflect fall’s shorter days and  cooler temperatures.

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Source: Adapted from “A Gardener’s Companion for the Central San Joaquin Valley,” 3rd edition, currently available from Fresno County Master Gardeners for $30. Gardening Questions answered at (559) 241-7534. Prepared by Judy Parker, Fresno County Master Gardener.

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