If you don’t have a fall or winter garden, prepare for spring planting.

Tasks:

• Repair damaged spots in cool season lawns such as tall fescue by scratching the surface with a rake, seeding, and covering with mulch. Keep moist until the new grass seedlings are well established. Warm‐season lawns like Bermuda grass will soon be entering their dormant season, so bare patches should be covered with mulch to discourage winter weeds.

• Use spent vegetable plants and summer annuals to start a compost pile.

Pruning:

• Divide and thin perennials.

• Sharpen your pruning tools in preparation for fall pruning.

Fertilizing:

• To avoid a flush of new growth late in the growing season, do not apply fertilizer to citrus, avocados or other frost‐tender plants.

Planting:

• If weather is cool enough, plant spring bulbs and annuals.

• Annuals: calendula, Canterbury bell (Campanula) pansy (Viola).

• Perennials: catmint (Nepeta), dianthus, fortnight lily (Dietes), Lantana

• Fruits and vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower.

• Trees, shrubs, vines: barberry (Berberis), redbud (Cercis), fringe tree (Chionanthus), chitalpa.

Enjoy now: 

• Annuals and perennials: fibrous begonia.

• Bulbs, corms, tubers: cyclamen.

• Trees, shrubs, vines: beautyberry (Callicarpa), bottlebrush (Callistemon), chitalpa.

• Fruits and vegetables: garlic, gourds, grapes, peaches

• Fall color: Raywood ash (Fraxinus angustifolia), maidenhair (Ginkgo biloba).

Things to ponder:

• Cover remaining tomato and pepper plants with a garden blanket to extend the harvest season into November.

• Limit fall vegetable gardens in size to avoid over production. Plant only the varieties that you know you will use and enjoy, or that you can share with others.

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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