Welcome to Garden View’s monthly gardening tips. We hope you find this information useful and check back often as we will feature new tips each month as well as new articles to the left. Fall is Planting time! Planting in fall gets the roots established (they grow more in fall and winter) so in spring the plants are prepared for the surge of growth. Planting in fall also saves water. This is the time to transplant bulbs and split perennials. However, it’s not a good time to fertilize deciduous fruit trees because it can encourage growth at the wrong time of year. Though many magazines and newspapers recommend fertilizing now which may be acceptable in other climate zones; it is not a good idea in our climate.
November Gardening Check List:
STOP FRUITING ON OLIVE AND OTHER TREES (Carrotwood to left): Don’t like the messy fruit dropped by olive trees or the seed balls on Liquidambar? Ethephon (Florel Fruit Eliminator), a natural plant hormone, prevents the formation of fruit on just about any ornamental tree. Spray it at blossom time. It will stop the fruit formation (and seed pods) on Carrotwood, Elm, Oak, Pine, Eugenia trees and hedges. Timing is critical; Florel Fruit Eliminator must be applied when the tree is in early stages of flowering. The most important task in fall per Esteban Luviano (Garden View Landscape Maintenance Supervisor) is to prepare for the rainy season; check swales on hills, clean obstructions, and check drains. Protect hillsides and use common sense to check for issues that may create slope erosion. Check all sump pumps, gutters, and drains.
Jerusalem Sage – Phlomis fruticosa
(right): about half in fall to keep them compact. This plant will produce waves of color in spring and summer if cut back lightly after each flowering.
Cut Back Chrysanthemums
(left): When plants have finished blooming, cut them back to within 6 or 8 inches of the ground. If plants are overcrowded, this would be a good time to divide them. Lift clumps, cut roots into pieces, and discard old or woody centers. Replant remaining pieces.
Fertilize Annual Color
(right) The best time to fertilize your annual flowers is when planting them. Garden View Crews sprinkle some fertilizer underneath the plant when planting. The reason is that Phosphorus and Potassium which contribute most to flower production do not leach through the soil so putting the fertilizer on the top of the soil doesn’t feed the plant near as well as putting the fertilizer in the hole next to the roots. Click Here to Read Our Article on Fertilizer!
Trim Grasses like Penisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’
(left) when they are starting to go brown. Cut down the whole plant (which is all leaves). Garden View crews cut to approximately 4” above the soil. If you do no do this the plant will be extremely unattractive all winter and will be much too large next spring and summer.
Night Blooming Jessamine – Cestrum nocturnum
(right) This fast growing, arching plant responds well to frequent pruning and a severe pruning in fall. This plants summer flowers are powerfully fragrant at night–too much for some people.
Do Not Prune California Live Oak Trees
(left) Prune Pine trees and other conifers now through February. DON’T PANIC IF EVERGREENS (Pine trees and other conifers) continue to show some browning or yellowing of needles this month and next. The oldest, innermost ones typically shed after a few years on the tree. Pine needles can be used as mulch for acid loving plants like Azalea, Camellia, and Blueberries or to cover informal woodland or vegetable garden paths.
(left) Prune cane berries other than low-chill raspberries.
Grapevines and Deciduous Trees
Give one last deep watering to grapevines and deciduous trees but discontinue feeding. This will begin hardening them off for cold weather. You want to discourage new growth that will be tender and susceptible to damage.
Cut back top heavy shrubs open up small trees. This is a fast growing, low water need plant. Most varieties have origins in Australia and southern Africa and most have yellow to gold flowers which bloom in late winter or early spring. These plants that are often listed as brittle and short lived (15 years) may have there life extended considerably by not overwatering and proper pruning.
(right)Acacia redolens is a great dry hillside ground cover. It grows fast, so space each plant at least 4 feet apart from each other and away from v-ditch drainage swales. The dwarf varieties need a little less trimming. Garden View Landscape crews will often plant this shrub on the upper side of the slope and Rosemary prostrada on the downhill side. This makes a nice contrast between the plants and the Rosemary tolerates more of the percolated water.
(left) has abundant flowers and a ferny leaf. As it matures and with proper pruning it can be a very mystic looking tree with interesting form.
Do Not Prune Hydrangeas
(right) Contrary to some references or your own temptations, do not prune hydrangeas this late in the year. Hydrangeas bloom on one-year-old stems Pruning now will eliminate most of next year’s flowers. To try to get blue or lavender flowers on an otherwise pink plant start applying Aluminum Sulfate to the soil now. White flowered varieties will not change color and not all pinks will be effected the same. Algerian and English Ivy respond well to a severe pruning during the cooler months. This will keep the plant contained and considerably more attractive.
Do not forget to set your irrigation and lighting timers back for daylight savings time. As the weather cools reset your irrigation timer to water less frequently. However, don’t change the number of minutes the system waters each time. In many areas, trees and shrubs will need watering only every week to week and a half, and citrus trees just once a month. Lawns and ground covers if trained (see article on deep watering) can survive on once a week watering. Watering seldom but deeply this time of year encourages deep root growth.
Plant Trees Now
Fall is the ideal time to plant trees. Our fall climate, with cool nights, mild days and moderate rainfall, gives trees a strong beginning that will serve them well when growing season begins in spring. Just about every tree type can benefit when planted in fall. The key to success is to select a planting location that is best suited for the tree type. Take into account the tree’s rate of growth, root configuration, leaf type (evergreen or deciduous), tree shape and ultimate height at maturity. Make sure the site you select has enough sun. Other issues: is the selected location on a slope where watering may be difficult? Is it near a walkway or patio where in a few years roots may cause a problem? Will the tree at maturity be too big for the site? Better to answer these questions now or you may find yourself trying to extract a tree and its roots when it outgrows its location. Garden View Nursery has a great selection of trees and educated sales people to help you pick just the right tree.
Spray Peach and Nectarine Trees
against peach leaf curl after leaves fall. Oil sprays smother the eggs of scale insects, aphids, and mites. Lime sulfur and powdered or liquid copper sprays discourage the growth of fungus (peach leaf curl) and virus. Choose a copper spray that contains at least 50 percent copper. On apricot trees use only copper sprays (sulfur will damage them). If the rains haven’t thoroughly moistened the soil of trees to be sprayed deep water them a few days before spraying. Spray on a cool, dry, sunny day during a windless period to minimize evaporation and drift. Make sure that all leaf, branch, and trunk surfaces are thoroughly covered with the spray solution. Drenching the soil from the trunk to just beyond the drip line is also helpful. Reapply if rain falls within 48 hours of the application.
Control Snails and Slugs
Damp weather and lower temperatures bring out snails and slugs. You can attack by baiting or stepping on them. To bait, spread material near seedlings and tender leafed plants; spread bait well so children and pets won’t be tempted to eat it. Metaldehyde spray helps control snails in shrubs and trees. If you decide on the bigfoot method, hunt near plants with a flashlight a few hours after dark. Disclaimer: Before you buy or use an insecticide product, first read the label and strictly follow label recommendations. Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute endorsement by Garden View.