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Gardener's Checklist - OCTOBER FILLERS
October Articles - Click Here
September 26 - October 2
Plant for winter color: pansies, violas, alyssum, primroses, stock and snapdragons will all brighten your garden this season.
Your lawn will do better during the winter months if you get rid of pests and diseases now.  Dethatch or aerate if needed.
Watch for aphids on your chrysanthemums. Check with a nursery professional for the best non-toxic control.
When planting bulbs, be generous with the bonemeal.  Place some at the bottom of the planting hole, add a little dirt and then the bulb so it doesn't touch the bonemeal
October 3 - 9
Tend to the roses! Remove dead wood, twiggy growth, leaves with spots or mildew.  Do not prune them now.
Feed camellias and azaleas lightly during the winter months to develop their blooms.
If you need a ground cover, plant it soon. If planted now, the root system will become established before spring arrives and growth accelerates.
Plant snapdragons for a bounty of color in your winter garden.
October 10 - 16
Don't let dahlia bulbs stay in the ground during the winter. Lift them when the tops have dried.
Keep cleaning out the falling leaves from the flower beds to prevent pests and diseases from taking up residence.
Stop feeding garden roses now because they are heading into their dormant period.
October 17 - 23
Remove the weeds as they crop up in bulb beds. Planting the beds with a cover of annuals such as pansies will keep the weeds to a minimum.
Lightly fertilize any bonsai if you didn't do so earlier this fall.
There's still time to plant bulbs. Consider putting some in containers so you can enjoy the flowers on your patio or by the front door.
October 24 - 31
If the plants in your outside containers have died, don't put the pots on the shelf until spring-- plant your favorite annuals and perennials for fall and winter.
Cut back or even discontinue fertilizing your house plants as they start their winter dormancy.

                October Fillers

                 About 40 years ago, a transplanted Hollander, growing lilies in Oregon
                 thought it would be nice to have lily flowers that grew outward and upward.
                 Jan De Graaff developed these and they bloom in shades of yellow, orange
                 and red. They were called Mid-Century hybrids.  Then, De Graaff crossed
                 two rather weak growers, the Goldband and Rubrum lilies from the Orient.
                 The results are vigorous stemmed lilies with huge flowers in combinations
                 of white and yellow, white with red specks, pink and white; red with darker
                 red spots on them. If you've never grown lilies, just try some of these
                 modern hardy varieties.  Your original investment pays off in increased
                 bulbs every year. Lilies like to remain undisturbed, so just give them their
                 place in the sun, water during the summer and let them bloom June
                 through August.

                 Fall is the ideal time to seed a lawn. Prepare the seedbed according to
                 the advice of a California Certified Nursery Professional™ before sowing
                 the seed.  Water regularly until the grass blades become "bushy" and
                 about three inches tall. Four weeks or so after planting, you should be able
                 to mow your new lawn.  Allow soil to become firm and fairly dry before
                 mowing in order to avoid damaging the new lawn with the mower wheels.

                 If you live in the mountains, keep in mind the following tips on protecting
                 your plants from the heavy snowfalls that are coming soon. Don't break
                 ice off branches and leaves because part of the plant may come off too. If
                 the weight of the ice endangers a shrub, throw tepid water on it IF the
                 temperature goes above freezing during the day. Instead of encasing
                 tender plants in plastic, (which can cause damage from overheating)
                 loosely cover the plant with burlap or sheeting. Don't use salt on icy paving
                 if it can later wash down into plant roots. Use pumice or sand instead. To
                 hold branches together on upright-branching shrubs such as boxwood, tie
                 them up with a rope or strips of cloth. For lack of anything else, boughs of
                 cedar or fir can give quick protection when the temperature falls.

                 If you have oak trees and are planning on using the leaves for a compost
                 pile, make a separate pile for them. Put the oak leaves on one pile
                 because they are acidic and compost from them can be used on azaleas,
                 mountain laurel, rhododendrons and conifers. Leaves from other trees
                 should be place on the second pile.  A leaf compost should be built in
                 layers.  Sprinkle a little fertilizer, lime and soil over each layer of leaves.
                 Water it down with a hose and occasionally turn the piles to encourage the
                 break down process.                                                         

                 Start garden maintenance in October; rake up leaves frequently so they
                 don't have a chance to smother the lawn and provide a home for pests in
                 flower beds. Remember that diseased or mildewed leaves should be
                 discarded and not thrown into the compost pile. Their fungus spores will
                 carry over into the next season and possibly cause problems elsewhere in
                 the garden. If you take care of this on a regular  basis it will save you from
                 doing a major cleanup later.

                 Shrubs planted now will get a good head start as the soil in October and
                 November is still warm enough to encourage vigorous root growth and at
                 the same time, cooler temperatures above ground make it easier on the
                 plants. When the cold weather does set in along with the rains, their roots
                 will keep on growing and the plants will become well established. They will
                 reward you next  spring with a big show of new growth. Fall planted trees
                 and shrubs will have developed a strong root system to support the new
                 growth.  You'll also find that fall planted shrubs don't suffer in the summer

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