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Saturday, December 15 , 2018, 12:02 pm | Fair 63º


Enjoy Southern California Fall Gardening in November

Fall in Southern California means fewer daylight hours to garden, but there is also less to do as winter approaches, say experts at Agromin, an Oxnard-based manufacturer of earth-friendly compost products made from organic material collected from more than 50 California cities, including those in Santa Barbara County.

» Mulch plants: Southern California cities average between 1 and 1½ inches of rain in November. If the rains come (it may also be another dry month), add mulch around the garden. Mulch stops mud from splashing onto plants when it rains.

» Place container plants next to a fence or building: November evenings are cool. By moving plants near fences or walls, the plants absorb reflected daytime heat and are protected from winter winds. Stake in-ground young trees so they are not damaged during high winds.

» Plant cool weather flowers: There is still time to plant cool weather flowers such as pansies, violas, primrose and calendula. They will bloom through fall and winter. For a quick color infusion, buy plants that are already in bloom such as chrysanthemums. These mums can immediately brighten a flowerbed. Once finished blooming, cut plants to a few inches above the ground. They will begin to grow again in spring and bloom in July.

» Plant trees: Fall is the time to plant just about any variety of tree. Fall and winter give the trees a good start so by spring, the trees are ready to grow.

What type of tree to plant? Evergreen trees keep their leaves all year so they are good for privacy and wind protection. Deciduous tree lose all their leaves in winter.

Whatever tree type, before making a selection, take into account the tree's rate of growth, root configuration, leaf type, tree shape and ultimate height at maturity. Make sure the site you select has enough sun and the tree will get enough water. Make sure the tree is 10 feet or more from the house and at least 5 feet away from patios and other hard surfaces. Otherwise, roots can cause problems.

» Plant garlic and onion: Garlic and onion thrive in cooler weather. Plant garlic cloves pointed side up about 1 to 3 inches deep and about 5 inches apart. Full-size onions are easy to grow and can be planted from seed. Water well since they are shallow-rooted.

Onions can be harvested when the leaves start to turn yellow and wilt — usually in late spring. Push the rest of the leaves over to encourage ripening. Harvest the bulbs and dry them in the sun for a few days before refrigerating.

» Plant California native groundcover: November is an excellent time to plant California native groundcover. Flowering groundcover includes a variety of California fuchsia and manzanita plants.

» Stop fertilizing roses: Roses flowers should keep blooming through November, but stop fertilizing roses now so they will go dormant in winter.

Click here for more gardening tips.

— Diane Rumbaugh is a publicist representing Agromin.

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