October 22, 2021

The bumps on oak tree foliage and branches are galls caused by minute cynipid wasps that do not harm people or the trees.

Tasks: 

   • Mow cool-weather lawns.

   • Check and improve drainage around plants in low areas.

   • Add fallen leaves, chipping trimmings and garden debris to compost.

   • Remember that plants in containers or beds under covered areas may not receive adequate water from rainfall and may require supplemental irrigation in fall and winter.

   • Use organic mulch around permanent plants and add organic matter to the soil to prepare beds for spring planting.

Pruning: 

   • Dispose of diseased wood by discarding in the trash.

Fertilizing: 

   • Feed cool-weather plants and vegetables.

   • Add bulb fertilizer to planting hole before planting bulbs.

Planting: 

   • Tulip and hyacinth bulbs that have been chilled for 6 weeks may be planted now.

   • Sow wildflowers or grasses on hillsides to prevent erosion in heavy rains.

   • Perennials: coral bells (Heuchera).

   • Bulbs, corms, tubers: Hyacinthus orientalis.

   • Fruits and vegetables: cabbage, peas, spinach, plant from seed.

   • Annuals: toadflax (Linaria maroccana), stock (Matthiola incana).

   • Trees, shrubs, vines: Indian hawthorne (Rhaphiolepsis).

Enjoy now:

   • Annuals and perennials: stock (Matthiola) African daisy (Osteospermum).

   • Fruit and vegetables: Asian pears, chard, nectarines, peas, peppers.

   • Trees, shrubs, vines: holly (Ilex), Chinese fringe flower (Loropetalum), Nandina.

   • Fall color: crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica), sweet gum (Liquidambar).

Things to ponder: 

   • Do not use lime sulfur spray on apricots or walnuts.

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 mgfresno@ucdavis.edu Prepared by Judy Parker, Master Gardener UCCE Fresno County.

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