Gardening work for fall and winter
As the days get shorter and the temperatures cooler, the pace of gardening slows down as the plants grow. But there is still a lot to do in the fall and winter months. In fact, much of what is done in the garden now will set the tone for the following year.
Cleaning the garden is a big chore. Remove any dead plant material from the garden and add it to your compost pile. Collect the fallen fruit around the fruit trees. These measures will eliminate habitat for overwintering diseases and pests. Raking leaves. Matted leaves left on a lawn can suffocate it. Instead, add your leaves (cut off the larger ones) to your compost pile. If you delay cutting down your wilted flowers and seed heads until early spring, birds will appreciate having this extra food source during the lean winter months.
Prune deciduous trees and shrubs during their dormancy period. However, it’s worth doing a little research on each plant to familiarize yourself with its pruning requirements. For example, pruning early flowering plants like azaleas, flowering quinces or forsythias in the fall will remove flower buds and reduce spring flowering. If these plants require pruning, this should be done right after flowering has finished.
Consider planting a winter garden. Radish, spinach, pea and onion seeds can be planted in October or November. Cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce and turnip seedlings can be planted in November. If you don’t want a winter garden, clean your summer garden and mulch it with straw, clippings or cut leaves. The mulch will discourage weeds and provide nutrients to the soil for next year’s garden.
Planting bare root trees and shrubs during their winter dormancy allows healthy root systems to develop before budding in spring. Fall is also the time to plant bulbs and perennials. Squirrels may notice disturbed soil and may dig up tulips and other bulbs. Disguise your work by flooding the soil surface with water and then covering the soil with mulch.
Renovate flower beds by weeding, adding organic matter, and tilling the soil to a depth of at least six inches. Refresh existing mulch around established plantings.
Perform an irrigation review and adjust your watering schedule to reflect lower fall and winter water needs. Make all repairs (such as repairing broken hoses, damaged hoses or sprinkler heads) before spring. If you have an automatic system, make sure it is working properly.
If you are planning to create new garden beds, fall is a good time to do so before you face the rush of spring gardening. And if you plan to make a new bed in an existing lawn, a good method is to cover it with a thick layer of newspaper topped with a layer of mulch. This will kill the lawn (as long as it is not a dormant perennial like Bermuda grass) and the bed will be ready to work in early spring without the effort of manually removing the sod.
Finally, clean and sharpen your tools. Keeping tools clean helps prevent the spread of disease and prolongs tool life. If you prune diseased plants, disinfect mowers, loppers or saws with a diluted bleach solution, dry them and then apply a light coating of oil. Sharp tools produce clean cuts and clean cuts heal faster. If you have empty flowerpots that you plan to reuse, clean them by removing dirt with a coarse brush and then rinsing with water. Let the terracotta pots dry completely before putting them away.
Plant Sale – Master Gardeners will be holding their Fall Plant Sale on October 30, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Patrick Ranch Demonstration Garden, 10381 Midway, Durham. In addition to the Plant Sale, there will be two free workshops: “Gardening with the Natives” at 10 am and “Berry and Grape Gardening” at 11 am No registration is required for these workshops; COVID-19 security protocols will be followed.
The Butte County UC Master Gardeners are part of the University of California cooperative extension system, serving our community in a variety of ways, including 4-H, agricultural counselors, and nutrition and education programs. ‘physical activity. To learn more about UCCE Butte County Master Gardeners and for help with gardening in our area, visit https://ucanr.edu/sites/bcmg/. If you have a gardening question or problem, call the hotline at 538-7201 or email email@example.com.