Garden Calendar

October

This month is the perfect time for planting in the low desert. It’s cool enough now to set out those seasonal flowers and vegetables that love our fall and winter months.

Bells of Fire

PLANT

Sow seeds of root crops such as beets, carrots, turnips, onions, salad greens and peas.

WATER

Rainfall helps out with irrigation this month. However, don’t rely on it with new plants.

Water citrus deeply to the tree canopy every two weeks or so.

Ease your plants into cooler weather by watering thoroughly and then gradually lengthening the time between waterings.

PREPARE

Prepare beds for bulbs such as ranunculus, iris, anemone, freesia, tritonia, rain lily, amaryllis, crocosmia and spider lily with rich organic soil and well-decomposed compost.

Crimson Flare

Mix phosphorus fertilizer (which promotes blooming) into the bottom of the planting hole.

Over-seed Bermuda lawns with rye grass between mid-October and mid-November.

Provide at least six to eight hours of full sun daily for vegetables to be most productive.

Repel garden pests by planting herbs such as oregano, rosemary, sage, parsley, thyme and lavender. Their aromatic oils deter most insects.

PRUNE

Remove the last of the warm-season flowering plants.

Divide your clumping perennials such as day lilies and Shasta daisies.

TRANSPLANT

Put in cool-season color annuals such as petunias, stock, snapdragons, dianthus, lobelia, poppies and alyssum.

Gold Star

Set out transplants from the cabbage family.

Plant desert-adapted trees, shrubs, vines, ground covers, ornamental grasses, and cacti and other succulents.

TIP OF THE MONTH

In the heat of the summer and into fall you will see this sun-loving shrub. Tecoma stans is known for its heat tolerance, speedy growth and colorful blooms.

The trumpet-shaped flowers grow in clusters attracting hummingbirds and also are valued as pollinator plants. The different varieties vary in height from three to six feet.

Lately, several new cultivars have appeared in nurseries. The more common “Yellow Bells” has been crossed with other Tecoma species to create an array of bright, orange-hued hybrids. Frost will affect the foliage, but it will regrow quickly in spring. Limit water in fall to improve winter tolerance. HG

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