Don't forget to reserve your Christmas tree delivery date now by calling 368-5908.
Late fall on the Peninsula is the time to plant & prepare for the holidays. . .
New plantings establish roots more quickly in warm soils and winter rains will also help plants get established more easily. Fall is a great time to plant California natives in particular, as well as most other temperature-hardy trees, shrubs and perennials. Wait until spring for tropicals such as Bougainvillea, Princess Flower and Mandevilla.
Beginning November 4th, our winter business hours will be from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm- 7 days a week. We will remain open weather permitting.
Also, prepare for staying longer indoors by surrounding yourself with more indoor plants, decorative pottery and holiday decorations. Start preparing your Amaryllis and Paper White Narcissus for Christmas. See our demonstration set-ups in Bulb area.
Rudy Wegman, owner and founder of Wegman's, will be hand-making Advent wreaths, holiday wreaths and centerpieces, made to order again this year. Place your order early with one of our Cashiers.
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS WITH WEGMAN'S --Click here to go to our Holiday Idea page.
• Plant spring-blooming bulbs now see our Spring Bulbs Care Guide.
• Growing Paper Whites for indoor bloom --Paper White bulbs take about 5-7 weeks to bloom. If you want bloom for the holidays, start the bulbs in early November. To prevent legginess, start bulbs outdoors the beginning of November in a sunny location. You can start bulbs in either soil or gravel. When foliage has reached 2 to 3 inches tall, bring indoors if the weather is cold and place in a window or a porch with full sun. If the weather stays warm, leave the plants in their sunny location out of doors. Once buds begin to develop, you can place Narcissus anywhere in the house. See our Paper Whites Care Guide.
Watering and Irrigation. . .
As the weather cools down and days shorten before the rainy season begins. Remember to adjust your irrigation systems downward for fall weather. Once the rains begin, turn systems off. If there is no rain for 2 weeks, resume watering. Remember -- lawns, trees and shrubs cannot coexist on the same water schedule!
FOR NEW LANDSCAPE PLANTINGS: Once planting is completed, water plants well. Check plants for water daily for the first week and if necessary, place hose on trickle near the base of the plant and leave on for up to 30 minutes. You may need to run drip or spray systems every 3 to 4 days for the first 2 weeks if you find that the top 2 to 3 inches of soil dries out quickly. For groundcovers in full sun, water new plantings deeply to about 6 inches every 4 to 5 days. You can adjust your systems according to the following recommendations after this period. The Rapitest Moisture Meter is a worthwhile investment. We have discovered, especially with new plantings that the backfill may be moist but the root ball is dry and the plant suffers accordingly. The Rapitest Moisture Meter would help you to prevent that.
LAWNS: Ideally, lawns should be watered once per week for one-half to one hour to encourage deep root systems. Before the rains come is a perfect time to have your lawns aerated if it hasn't been done this year. If your water runs off the lawn, you may have to divide the time into two or three applications. As soon as the rains begin, turn systems off.
SHRUBS & ROSES: For most bubbler or spray systems, once per week for one hour should be adequate. Remember to avoid direct water on rose foliage unless you water early in the morning in order to decrease the incidence of rust. Contrary to popular belief, wet foliage does not promote powdery mildew. If you have a drip system, set systems to emit 5 gallons of water 2 times per week.
TREES: Water established trees once a month through November (until the rain begins) for a few hours with bubblers at the drip line to ensure a deep soaking. You can also build a berm at least 4 to 6 inches high and flood monthly or use a Ross Root Feeder for trees planted in lawns. Deciduous fruit trees can go dry to push them into dormancy.
VEGETABLES: Soaker hoses work great for winter vegetable gardens. Run them 1 to 2 times per week for 4 to 5 hours. Turn pressure on until you count one drip every three seconds along the entire line.
MULCHES: When all of your trees, shrubs and vegetables have been planted, they should be mulched. Almost any kind of organic matter can be used as mulch. Some examples are: wood chips, fir bark, redwood compost, fir compost, rice hulls, hay and even newspaper. Some of the materials are more attractive than others. The purpose of the mulch is to suppress weeds, help prevent evaporation of water from the soil, keep the soil cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. It will also be attractive and gradually work into the soil as an amendment. Mulches (except newspapers) should be 2 to 4 inches deep and should be kept about four inches away from the trunks of trees and shrubs. Shredded redwood bark (sometimes called "gorilla hair") has not been found to be satisfactory mulch; it soon loses its attractiveness and does not permit water to pass through. Shredded redwood bark, when compressed with a roller, does make a good foot path.
Special tip from Ed: The Santa Clara Valley Water District offers home visits to evaluate water systems for water-wise efficiency. Call 1-888-439-6624 to schedule an appointment or contact them at http://valleywater.org/. In the Redwood City area call: 780-7464. Don't forget to water those flower beds under the eaves of the house where the rain never hits!
The Bay Area Water Supply & Conservation Agency (BAWSCA) has information on their website on converting your landscaping to a more water efficient design. Visit BAWSCA's website at bawsca.org for more information.
November Garden Tips from Wegman Professionals. . .
ANNUALS AND WILDFLOWERS
• Broadcast California poppy and native wildflower seeds. After preparing the soil (unless you plan to feed the birds!) as follows: 1) Remove or clear existing vegetation such as weeds, groundcovers or grass in areas to be planted. The goal is to reduce competition so that seedlings flourish and become established. 2) Loosen soil to at least 1 inch. 3) Sow seeds. Mix in some Asclepias seed to attract butterflies, 4) Cover with one-half inch of Gardener’s Gold Potting Soil. We prefer this cover to others because it’s light enough for seeds to penetrate when germinating, yet heavy enough so that it isn’t displaced by water or wind, 5) Water as needed to keep the soil moist and to prevent the seedlings from drying out.
• Continue planting winter annuals -- Try calendula, snapdragons, stock, and cineraria for fall and winter color. For more color through the winter months, plant violas, pansies, Iceland poppies, English primrose, fairy primrose, Primula obconica, cyclamen and flowering kale and cabbage. Mix in some edible colorful greens such as Red Leaf lettuce and Rainbow chard.
• Refresh your soil after pulling your summer annuals -- Add 1 to 2 inches of Master Nursery Gold Rush and broadcast Master Nursery Master Start at the rate of 1 pound to 50 square feet and till in to a depth of 8 to10 inches. If your soil has been tilled and amended and is in good tilth, do not rototill or dig it up again--plant and then mulch some more.
• Be sure to plant your annuals before the end of the month and before the ground becomes cold. If planted too late, they will just sit there all winter with little or no growth.
• Start sweet peas from seed -- Ideally, you should prepare a trench about 12 inches deep and wide. Mix one-third Master Nursery Gold Rush to two-thirds native soil and fill the hole with this amended mixture. Add Master Start Fertilizer at the rate of 1 pound to 50 square feet. Plant two seeds 1 inch deep and 6 inches apart and water in well. Special tip from Ed: For a novel twist, let sweet peas climb on existing shrubs. White sweet peas, for example, growing onto a red climbing rose or mixed sweet peas climbing on an ivy-covered fence provide a mildly wild look, boosting viewing pleasure. (See our Sweet Pea Care Guide).
•Forget-Me-Nots can also be started from seed in semi-shady areas.
• Snail control -- Don’t forget to apply Sluggo or Cook Pest Granules after planting annuals. Sluggo is safe for pets and children but baits with Metaldehyde are extremely toxic to dogs.
• Many annuals (zinnias, cosmos, snapdragons, etc.) have become mildewed now that summer is over. Don't bother trying to treat the mildew. Get rid of the plants when they finish blooming. Do not compost. Leave a few cosmos with seeds as long as possible for the gold finches to feed on.
• We have learned that all of the Narcissus family (Daffodils, etc.) live longer and don't rot if they are planted in an area that does not get summer water (May to October).
• Plant spring-blooming bulbs now. We still have an excellent selection, including tulips, daffodils, hyacinth, freesias, narcissus, iris, anemone, and ranunculus. We also carry a select handful of unusual bulbs such as: Iphion, Lycoris and Galanthus.
• Remember to refrigerate tulips and hyacinths for 6-8 weeks before planting. Store bulbs in paper bags, and place in the refrigerator away from ripe fruits. Be sure bulbs stay dry.
• Bulbs that don’t need refrigeration can be held dormant in the crisper of your refrigerator and be planted later to prolong the blooming season. Remember - if fruits (apples, pears, bananas, tomatoes, etc.) are stored near bulbs, the bulbs may not bloom.
• In our climate, tulips and hyacinths are seldom repeat bloomers and usually are treated as annuals. Pot them up in containers with low growing annuals over the top, enjoy them when they bloom and then dump them in the compost bin or garbage. If you are really fond of tulips, plant about 50 to 100 in a bed no more than 8 inches apart. Overplant with a neutral color of pansy, viola or alyssum. Dispose of the tulips in the spring. Grape hyacinths will naturalize and come up year after year.
• Gopher control -- Spray Mole-Med to keep gophers away from tulip and hyacinth bulbs. Follow instructions exactly for best results! We also have Digger Root Guards to protect bulbs. All daffodils and Dutch iris are gopher and deer proof.
• Remember to amend soil with Master Nursery Gold Rush and to broadcast Master Nursery Bulb Food when planting. You can also add Master Nursery Bulb Food to individual bulb holes. The general rule of thumb for the depth of the hole is three times the length of the bulb. We no longer recommend Bone Meal as a fertilizer for bulbs.
Special tip from Ed: For a different touch -- Plant a couple of dozen or more spring starflower (Iphion) bulbs 1 inch deep in the lawn and forget about them. They will come up, bloom, and blend in with the grass year after year.
• Dig gladiolus bulbs this month. Dry bulbs on a tarp or in paper bags, then rinse in a solution of 9 parts water to 1 part bleach. When dry, dust with sulfur, then store in paper bags in a cool spot away from moisture.
• If you plant bulbs which will naturalize, we have been recommending that you no longer fertilize with bone meal which does not contain the fertilizer it once did. Instead use Master Nursery Bulb Food.
• If your dahlia roots are multiplying like rabbits, or if they have not been dug up for the last two years, dig them up now, leave soil on the roots, and store them in very slightly moist sawdust or Master Nursery Forest Blend. In the spring, separate them and replant. See our Dahlia Care Guide.
• Don't repot your Cymbidium orchids until they finish blooming: the dwarfs by January and the standards by May.
• Last chance to Preorder Bareroot Fruit Trees! Paid orders receive a 10% discount if ordered before November 30! Click here to view the complete selection of Bareroot Fruit Trees.
• If peach or nectarine trees were infected with peach leaf curl during past seasons, you must spray three times during the dormant season with a copper product that contains at least 30% copper. The first spray should occur at the end of this month then again, the end of December and the third time at the end of January. In the past, Micro-Cop and Lime Sulfur were the fungicides of choice but they are no longer available. Now use Micro-Cop at 3 tablespoons per gallon of water mixed with 5 tablespoons of Master Nursery year Round Spray Oil for peach leaf curl. Research at UC Davis supports that copper is the most effective control against peach leaf curl. If this fungicide is not available, spray on the same schedule with Chlorothalonil (Ortho Garden Disease Control). This product is less toxic than our original products and also controls brown rot, shot hole, powdery mildew, apple scab, gray mold and many other fungal diseases.
• Brown rot and bacterial canker of apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums and cherries, manifest as dieback of and/or oozing from short fruiting spurs or branch tips and a decrease or absence of fruit production. If symptoms of these diseases appeared this year, next year apply two additional sprays of Daconil (Ortho Garden Disease Control) or Chlorothalonil at pink bud and full bloom. When pruning this fall or winter, you should remove dead wood, oozing wood and any wood with cankers. (See our Care Guides on specific fruit trees on this website)
• Wait until at least the end of November to begin pruning deciduous fruit trees. Wait until at least March and April to prune citrus. Pick up fallen leaves as they accumulate.
• Cut back caneberries, such as blackberries and raspberries, now. Prune to the ground canes which fruited this summer. The new canes will fruit next summer and should be tied up if necessary.
• Do not fertilize deciduous fruit trees until next spring (Valentine's Day) even if you forgot the fall treatment. Normally you will fertilize about Memorial Day and Labor Day.
• Fireblight appears as blackened leaves and stems and most commonly affects pears. It also can affect loquat, cotoneaster, pyracantha, apples, photinia, and some other plants in the rose family. To control, cut 9 to 12 inches below affected tissue, sterilizing pruning tools between each cut with rubbing alcohol, a bleach solution or Lysol. See the Care Guide for Apples and Pears for further information.
• Check apple and pear trees for woolly apple aphids which have been particularly bad this year. They appear as a white cottony substance, usually in crevices, old pruning cuts and on the roots close to the base of the tree. Spray with Malathion or Sevin if aphids are present.
• Select and plant citrus now.
• Check citrus for snail damage and for scale. Scale is a sucking insect that usually clusters along fruit stems, new growth and the undersides of leaves. If scale is found, spray tree with a mixture of horticultural oil and Malathion. Two weeks later make a second application. Don’t use horticultural oil more than 4 times during the growing season. Wait at least 2 weeks between applications. Ants running up and down the citrus trunk, indicates an infestation of scale, aphids, mealy bugs or white flies.
• If you find snails in your citrus trees, sprinkle Sluggo or Cooke Pest Granules between the trunk and drip line of the tree. An effective, non-toxic alternative is to attach a 2-inch double copper band around the tree trunk, one foot above the soil level after picking all the snails from the tree.
• If you want to create a meadow of wildflowers, now’s the time to prepare the soil and sow the seeds. Look under the ANNUALS heading for more specific instructions.
• Erigeron, Convolvulus, Creeping Rosemary, Ceanothus and Manzanita are excellent groundcovers for hot, dry locations (though they do need water while becoming established). Blue Star Creeper, Woolly Thyme and Creeping Chamomile fill in nicely between stepping stones in full to part sun and are able to withstand some foot traffic. For the shade, try Campanula, Sweet Woodruff and Vinca Minor.
• To ward off slugs and snails, bait with Sluggo (safe for pets and people) or Cooke Pest Granules, available in pellet form.
• Begin fertilizing lawns with Master Nursery Fall & Winter Feed. This formula contains nitrate nitrogen which is quickly absorbed by grass under cooler conditions. For an organic alternative, try Concern Weed Prevention Plus.
• Over seed Bermuda lawns with annual ryegrass now for a green lawn through the winter.
• Lawn seeded through November may need moisture up to 2 times a day so that germinating seeds do not dry out.
• Re-set mowers to 1.5 to 2 inches for fescue and bluegrass lawns and 1 to 1.5 inches for Bermuda grass lawns. Consider leaving lawn clippings on the lawn. As clippings break down, they provide the lawn with nutrients, reducing the need for fertilizers by 30-50%. Clippings will not cause thatch.
• If you have had problems with weedy grasses in your lawn, now and again in February is the time to apply Concern Weed Prevention Plus, which is a fertilizer containing a pre-emergent that targets weedy grasses. Remember that pre-emergent weed killers will only prevent weed seeds from sprouting and have no effect on established perennial weeds.
• If you haven't dethatched your lawn in the last year or two, now is the time to do it to take advantage of the winter rains. Dethatching removes old grass stems, grass growing sideways and dead plant material.
• Crab grass has been a major problem for some gardeners this year. Crab grass is an annual that makes and spreads thousands of seeds. It has a wide leaf and lays flat on the lawn, smothering your regular lawn grass. Trimec Plus will kill the crabgrass and any other weeds in your lawn but will not harm the regular lawn grass. When the crab grass is dead rake it off and then reseed the bare spots. Trimec Plus works best on young Crab grass.
• If lawns show raccoon or lawn moth damage, apply Bonide Grub Beater. (Lawn moth damage appears as scattered dead spots throughout the lawn, and raccoon damage appears as torn spots in the lawn.) Although it is too late to use Beneficial Nematodes, consider applying them next April and July. For more information on Beneficial Nematodes see our Care Guide. Beneficial nematodes are microscopic organisms which consume various destructive soil-dwelling insects. They do not harm earthworms and are safe around pets and people. Critter Ridder can be sprinkled on the lawn and has been fairly effective in discouraging raccoons.
• If lawns are a bit thin, over-seeding with the same kind of seed and one-half inch of Gold Rush will green it up. Treat the over-seeding as you would a new lawn.
• You may consider laying sod instead of seeding. Again, you may need to run irrigation systems 2-3 times a week during hot weather to prevent the roots from drying. Sod orders placed with Wegman’s usually take 2-3 days for delivery. Call us for details! Remember: You cannot use pre-emergent products for 3-4 months prior to seeding a lawn or laying sod. You can, however, use Round Up before seeding or laying sod to kill established weeds in the lawn area. See our Care Guide on Lawn Preparation.
• For fall color, check out Nemesia, Mexican Marigold, Lion’s Tail, butterfly weed, the asters, (the Monk)and garden mums. Many of the summer bloomers such as the salvias, penstemon and verbena will also stay in color through fall. To brighten up the rainy months, plant marguerites now. These short-lived (2-3 years) perennials offer year-round pink, white or yellow blooms and generally withstand colder spells in our winters.
• Be sure to deadhead as blooms fade to ensure bloom throughout fall.
• Plant foxglove, columbine, and bleeding heart now before month's end. These spring-bloomers promise to gain bulk this fall and increase their show in the spring.
•It is not too late to divide perennials such as Iris, Salvia, Marguerites, Shasta Daisies and others which have not been divided in 4 or 5 years. In most cases, the root clumps can be cut with a shovel and then rinsed and replanted at a suitable spacing.
• Most of the ornamental grasses are in flower. Check out Blue Oat Grass, Mexican Feather Grass, Rattlesnake Grass, Feather Reed Grass, and Bamboo Muhly. Grasses lend an architecture and texture to the landscape unmatched by other plants. They are also drought-tolerant and deer-resistant. For additional plants that are Deer-resistant click here. Cut back tall grasses (Feather Grasses, etc.) by the end of November and fertilize with Master Nursery Formula 49 fertilizer.
• A nice handful of sun-loving perennials which double as both deer-resistant and drought-tolerant plants are: lavender, yarrow, the Salvias, Echinacea, sea lavender, society garlic, Penstemon, and Brachycome. All provide excellent summer and fall color in addition to these practical attributes. For additional plants that are Deer-resistant click here.
• To control Bermuda grass and crabgrass and other weedy grasses in ornamental beds, try Grass-Getter or Weed Stopper. For Bermuda in lawns, use Turflon Ester and for crabgrass in lawns use Trimec Plus.
• Bait perennials with Sluggo or Cooke Pest Granules.
• Preorder bareroot roses now! Wegman's has the 2013 AARS winners. Paid orders receive a 10% discount if ordered before November 30. View our entire listing of Bare Root Roses here. The AARS winner is:
• Wait until late December or January to begin pruning roses. Gather leaves as they fall and dispose of them.
• Don't fertilize roses again until spring.
• Don’t deadhead your rugosa roses: beautiful hips will develop and adorn plants through winter. Prune in late January.
• Aphids can be controlled by blasting off with water, by spraying with Monterey brand Take Down Garden Spray, Malathion or Safer Insect killing Soap.
• Watch for katydids and cucumber beetles, both of which chew on flower buds, leaving holes in flower petals. Treat as for aphids with sprays as needed.
• Do not spray herbicides such as Round-Up within 100 feet of roses even in the winter. If weeds appear in rose beds, hand-dig or use a tool such as a hula-hoe to remove. Then sprinkle Concern Weed Prevention Plus over the entire area.
• Powdery Mildew appears as whitish splotches on the surface of leaves and on buds and stems. To control, use Safer Garden Fungicide or wettable sulphur. If these measures aren’t satisfactory, use Ortho Rose Pride, but at this late date when the roses are about to lose all their leaves anyway, don't bother spraying.
• Rust appears as small yellow to black spots on the upper surface of leaves, which, when flipped, show rust-colored pustules. Use Ortho Rose Pride to control. Same advice as for mildew.
• Leaves with any disease should not be composted. Instead dispose of them in the trash pickup.
• If your pruning tools have not been cleaned and sharpened in the last 6 to 9 months, have it done now before you start your fall pruning.
SHRUBS & VINES
• To promote bud development in rhododendrons, Camellia japonica and azaleas, fertilize now with Master Nursery Master Bloom (0-10-10). Camellia show-people add a bit of blood meal at this time.
• If your gardenias show brown flower buds which drop off before opening, the cause is probably thrips. Use Captain Jack’s Deadbug Concentrate with Spinosad every month to control. Keep in mind that gardenias need an acid soil. Mulch yearly with Master Nursery Gold Rush and apply Iron Sulfate every 3 or 4 months. Actually, gardenias grow and bloom best in containers with 6-8 hours of full sun. All evergreen container plants should be fertilized lightly every month.
• Four of the fastest growing shrubs for hedges and screens are Black-twig Pittosporum, Pittosporum Eugenioides, Red-tip Photinia and purple hopseed bush. Left unpruned, each will reach approximately 20 feet tall and wide but each can be maintained at 6 to 8 feet if desired. Remember to prune newly planted hedges seasonally, even if lightly. This will encourage plants to be bushy and dense.
• Hydrangeas: It’s too early to prune your Hydrangeas but you should apply Aluminum sulphate during the first part of November and the next four months if you want to intensify the blue color. Use oyster shell lime to intensify pink colors. You cannot change blue to pink or pink to blue. (See Hydrangea Care Guide.)
• Watch for evidence of thrips and black vine weevil on rhododendrons and azaleas. Thrips damage appears as a mottling or bleaching of the upper surfaces of leaves and small, glossy black dots on the undersides of leaves. Weevils leave distinctive notches along leaf margins as they feed. Both can be controlled with Spinosad. The weevils can also be controlled with beneficial nematodes applied in April.
• Azaleas--If the flowers on your Azaleas turned brown last year, spray the buds with Triforine or Chlorothalonil before they begin to show color (Ortho Rose Pride, or Ortho Garden Disease Control). (See our Care Guide for Azaleas.)
Now is the time to select trees for their fall color --
REDS: Chinese Tallow, Dogwood, Japanese maple varieties. Some reds that flash orange as well are Chinese Pistachio, Crape Myrtle, and Liquidambar Palo Alto or L. Festival.
YELLOWS: Ginkgo, Birch, Fruitless Mulberry, Golden Rain Tree, Liquidambar varieties and Coral Bark Maple.
BURGUNDY: Raywood Ash, Flowering Pear, and Liquidambar Burgundy.
JAPANESE MAPLES: Famous for their brilliant fall colors. The red-leaf Japanese maple varieties such as Bloodgood and Moonfire display bright scarlet tones. Acer palmatum, the wild species, displays unmatched bright red, yellow and orange tones on the same tree. Coral Bark Maple produces bright yellow leaves.
• Be sure to dispose of leaves infected with powdery mildew in trash bins. Do not compost! Most of our home compost piles reach sufficient temperatures to break down food and yard waste but not the temperatures (140°F+) required to destroy harmful fungi and bacteria.
• In both San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, the olive fruit fly has infested many olive trees, rendering fruit unusable for home curing. If you’re thinking of home curing olives, be sure to have fruit checked for maggots. Next year, use Spinosad in conjunction with Olive Fruit Fly Traps and Lures to control the Olive Fruit Fly. The traps detect the fly so you know when to spray.
• If you are considering having specimen trees pruned, we strongly encourage you to seek certified arborists. While you will pay more for their work, you can be assured that the longevity of your trees will not be compromised by poor practices such as topping.
• If you have a particularly valuable or important Coast Live Oak Tree on your property, you probably should have it sprayed to prevent Sudden Oak Death. This is especially true if you also have California Bay Laurel trees on the property or live near forested areas such as Huddart Park or Woodside. You can have the work done by reputable firms or do it yourself. The only product listed to spray for this disease is Agri-Fos which has recently been approved for sale and is now available at Wegman's. Until new information develops, spraying should be done every year.
VEGETABLES AND HERBS
• Before ripping out tomatoes, harvest any green tomatoes. To ripen, place in a box and store in a cool spot. Be sure tomatoes do not touch one another. Check frequently, discarding any fruits that show discolored soft spots or mold. They will get red but not be as flavorful as your vine ripened ones. If you nestle a couple of bananas among the tomatoes and cover with a newspaper, they will ripen faster.
• Some gardeners were disappointed with their tomato crops this year. Poor results were probably due to our erratic weather. If day time temperatures go over 90 degrees (we had some of that), the flowers won't pollinate. If the night time temperatures drop below 55 degrees, (we also had some of that), the flowers drop off. In either case, there will be no tomatoes on that part of the bush. Another possibility is that your tomato bushes could have gotten Verticillium Wilt.
• Plant your winter garden. Prepare soil by covering it with 1 to 2 inches of Master Nursery Gold Rush and scattering Master Nursery Master Start at the rate of 1 pound per 50 square feet. Dig or till in to 6 to 8 inches unless you have been using the garden regularly, then no tiling is necessary. It's okay to rake Gold Rush in an inch or two.
• Plant onion seedlings from cell-packs or from bunches of 25. Prepare beds by adding 1 to 2 inches of Master Nursery Gold Rush and double-digging or rototilling to 8 to 10 inches unless the garden has been used regularly (see above).
• Cool season greens, such as lettuce, spinach, cilantro, chard, and mustard can be planted by seed or from starts at this time. See our Winter Vegetable Gardening Care Guide. Plant these vegetables at two or three week intervals so they don't ripen all at once.
• Herbs (biennial and perennial) can be planted now to become established for spring and summer harvest. Plant: chives, cilantro, marjoram, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme and sage. Remember that marjoram, oregano, rosemary, thyme and sage are shrubs and should have a permanent, sunny place.) See our Herbs Care Guide.
• Plant cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and the rest of the Cole crops from starts, spacing them 12-18 inches apart. Try kohlrabi and bok choy for deliciously different tastes. Rutabaga, parsnips and the other root vegetables can also be planted now from seed. See our Winter Vegetable Gardening Care Guide.
• When string beans have finished, replace them with your favorite peas from seed. Plant 2 to 3 seeds in each hole, about 12 inches apart. Bush peas will bear sooner but pole peas will bear more pods for a longer time. Peas can also be planted from starts at this time. Be sure to plant in 12 inch intervals.
• If you have small potatoes (1 to 2 inch diameter) left from your summer crop, they can be planted now to provide potatoes early next year.
•Cole crops, especially Brussels sprouts, are very susceptible to aphids and cabbage butterfly caterpillars. Control caterpillars with Spinosad and aphids with horticultural soap or Malathion.
•If you decide to not have a winter garden, seed the area with a cover crop of leguminous plants (Fava beans, peas, etc.) and mustard.
Special Services available from Wegmans. . .
• Consultation services are available at Wegman's from a trained horticulturist to help solve any garden problems you may have.
• Grafting services are available, if you want to preserve a special tree or mix two varieties on one tree. Check with us to determine if we can help you!
• Sharp pruning tools make clean cuts that heal quickly. Check out our Pruning Tool Renovation Service, which includes cleaning and sharpening and replacing missing parts for pruners. If you’re unsure whether we can service your tool, bring it in for assessment.
Ideas for special situations . . .
• Containers and Tropicals -- Pull containerized tender and tropical plants (hardy to 25-30°F), such as Mandevilla, trumpet flower (Brugmansia) and Bougainvillea, close to the house for protection during the cold months. 2) Hold off fertilizing deciduous container plants until February. 3) Consider watering indoor plants with a solution of 2 tablespoons of vinegar to 1 gallon water once a month in order to reduce salt build-up and soil alkalinity.
• Consider planting cover crops in unused garden spaces. Cover crops keep soil from compacting during winter rains and add much needed nitrogen to the soil when turned into beds in the spring. Popular cover crops include Fava beans, which are also edible, and strawberry and red clover. We also carry Winter Cover Crop Mix, which includes bell beans, Magnus peas and purple vetch. Prepare soil as for vegetables. Snap peas and pod peas work well and then you can eat them.
• Liquid Fence has proven to be extremely effective in deterring deer from yards and gardens. The trick is to use it exactly as instructed. We have one gardener who claims it repels squirrels. We are going to try it.
• Mole & Gopher Med has proven to be effective in ridding yards and gardens of gophers and moles. The secret, again, is to follow the instructions exactly as instructed. Mole & Gopher Med will not kill the pests but rather chases them someplace else.
• Special Tip from Ed: When the flower buds on your Holiday Cactus are one-quarter to three-eighths of an inch long, it's time to bring them indoors for holiday bloom. If you wait until they start to show color, the buds will drop-off indoors. (More later on the different varieties of Holiday Cactus.)
• If you have started a compost pile, pumpkins don't compost very well unless they are chopped up into half inch pieces.
• Daconil, one of our least toxic and most effective fungicides, has been taken off the market, but Ortho Garden Disease Control contains Chlorothalonil, the same as Daconil.
Don’t forget to reserve your Christmas treet delivery date now by calling 650-368-5908.