Trees and shrubs continue to require deep watering every one or two weeks until rainy weather arrives in earnest.

Tasks: 

   • As overnight temperatures drop into the low 30s, provide frost protection for citrus, avocados and other subtropicals.

  • Monitor drainage after watering container plants to be sure plant roots are not  standing in water.

Pruning: 

   • Leaf fall is the time to start pruning — except for apricots and olives, which should  have been done in August.

Fertilizing: 

   • Feed cool-weather plants and vegetables.

   • Wait 2 weeks after planting new flowers and vegetables before feeding with organic or  complete fertilizer.

Planting: 

   • Continue to plant the final cool-weather annuals.

   • Perennials: Yarrow (Achillea), Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’.

   • Bulbs, corms, tubers: grape hyacinth (Muscari), daffodil (Narcissus).

   • Fruits and vegetables: parsley – transplant, parsley, chives, leek.

   • Annuals: Calendula, California poppy (Eschscholzia), bee balm (Monarda).

   • Trees, shrubs, vines: Chitalpa, rockrose (Cistus), Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus).

Enjoy now:

   • Annuals and perennials: Iceland poppy (Papaver), Russian sage (Perovskia).

   • Fruits and vegetables: avocados, beets, cabbage, chili peppers, olives.

   • Trees, shrubs, vines: rose.

   • Fall color: heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica), persimmon.

Things to ponder: 

   • Dig up dahlia and begonia tubers and gladiolus corms, trim dead stems or leaves and store in a cool, dry place.

Drought tip:  

   • Shorter days and cooler temperatures result in lower water use by plants.  Adjust sprinkler timers accordingly.

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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