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If a fall/winter garden was not planted, plant a cover crop, such as fava beans, to add nitrogen and organic matter, to improve the soil tilth and water penetration, and to help mitigate disease issues related to crop rotation. Cut down the crop just as it comes to bloom for maximum nitrogen benefit, leaving the roots in the soil. The tops can be dug in or put in your compost pile.
Mulch perennial crops and any bare soil. Option: rake leaves into a pile, run the mower over them and use this as organic mulch.
If tomatoes are still in the garden, cut off their water to help ripen what is left.
Strawberries can be planted October through spring. In the spring, pay attention to day-neutral (“everbearers”) vs. short-day types. If short-day types are planted in spring (when days are lengthening), they will not flower/fruit adequately. Trim off all runners as they develop because they weaken the mother plant and reduce fruit size. See University of California guidance. [Hyperlink: http://ucanr.org/sites/gardenweb/Berries/Strawberries/]
Lightly fertilize cool-season vegetables in a fall/winter garden if compost or a slow-release fertilizer was not added earlier.
Citrus: apply 1/2 lb of 5-2-1 mixed with 1 tablespoon of Epson salts and water well.
Raspberries: foliar feed with liquid fish two times this month.
Blackberries: apply 2 oz per plant of 5-10-10 and water well.
Fruit Trees: apply 7-5-7 per bag instructions around drip line of trees and work in, being careful not to disturb roots.
Turn off your automatic watering systems when rainy weather arrives.
Clean, sharpen and oil garden tools and store them in a dry space. Steel wool will remove rust build up (wear gloves); some gardeners use wax paper throughout the year to wipe cleaned and dried blades after use to prevent/reduce rust. Drain garden hoses and hang them in the garage during the rainy season.
Inspect crops regularly throughout their growing season for early problem diagnosis and resolution. Refer to University of California’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) site. [Hyperlink: http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/menu.homegarden.html]. Sanitation is an important aspect of disease prevention. Clear garden debris and clean and, then, disinfect tools in a 10-percent bleach solution for one or two minutes.
WHAT TO PLANT THIS MONTH
LETTUCE, C, D/T, 50-60 days to maturity
BUNCHING ONIONS, C, D/T, 70-80 days to maturity
KALE, thru Nov, C, D/T, 65-75 days to maturity
GREENS, ASSORTED, C, D, 35-45 days to maturity
SPINACH, C, D/T, 40-50 days to maturity
BOK CHOY, C, D/T, 40-60 days to maturity
PEAS, C, D, 60-80 days to maturity
CORN SALAD/MÂCHE, T, 80 days to maturity
RADISHES, C, D, 20-60 days to maturity
GARLIC, thru Nov, C, D, 120-185 days to maturity