In California, vegetable gardening doesn’t stop with the fall harvest. There are many varieties of vegetables that do best in cool weather. Lettuce, cabbages, root vegetables such as carrots and beets are a few of them. It’s also an ideal time to start a winter hardy herb garden. The cooler temperatures will allow the herbs to be firmly established by the warmer days of spring. Herbs also do well in containers or planted along walkways where their fragrance is released as someone brushes against them.
Remember, a garden started now means fresh vegetables for winter stews and garden salads as well as herbal seasonings all year round.
If you haven’t planted your winter vegetables yet, this would be a good time. The vegetable starts are here now with fresh shipments arriving weekly. Use our Recipe for Good Garden Soil and then get ready to plant.
Fresh carrots, onions, cabbage will all taste great in winter stews and casseroles. Come in and choose now. We have Kale, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Chard, Cabbage, Parsley, Spinach, Herbs, Lettuce and much more from seeds or starts, and we have Garlic and Onions from bulbs.
Onion Bulbs Are In!
Ready to plant now for harvest next summer. Choose from red, yellow, or white onions, or choose shallots. Place bulbs 3 to 4 inches apart in rows that are 15 to 18 inches apart. Begin to harvest the green tops in 3 to 4 weeks, if you like. Onions are shallow rooted plants, so keep them moist and free of weeds. Winter rains will soon do all the watering for you, making onions one of the easiest vegetables to grow ín the garden.
Landscaping with herbs adds interest!
Many herbs make beautiful landscape plants which can serve more than one purpose in the yard. Here are some ways to use herbs in your landscape to reap the bounty of flavor, fragrance and attracting our fuzzy flying friends, the pollinators:
• Thyme – Many varieties, from tiny leafed to golden tinted foliage. Great for tucking in around stepping stones or use as edging.
• Mint – Comes in flavors from spearmint to chocolate. Plant in a pot to contain it its rampant growth.
• Oregano – Greek is one of the best tasting. Pinch it back occasionally to keep it bushy.
• Chives – Grow these spiky little clumps as an accent. The pretty pink flowers are edible, too.
• Trailing Rosemary – Lovely spilling over a wall or pot edge.
• Lavender – Dozens of varieties with gray or green foliage; all are colorful and fragrant in your hottest, sunniest spots.
• Lemon Balm – Tidy mounds with dusty purple flowers and wonderfully fragrant leaves.
• Sage – Silvery or multi-colored leaves are a must for flavoring poultry dishes.
Shrubs and Trees
• Lemon Verbena – Tough as nails drought lover is a sturdy shrub. Pinch to keep bushy; pour boiling water on leaves for a lemony tea.
• Upright Rosemary – Tuscan Blue grows to 5′; use as a hedge. Variety Barbecue has larger leaves. All are tough, low water and delicious.
• Bay Laurel – Use Sweet Bay leaves fresh or dry for later. Grows as a dense, evergreen, dark green hedge or upright small tree.
Tuck a few herbs in a sunny spot near your kitchen door, within easy snipping distance. Most herbs like good drainage, so amend your soil with lots of compost. Or plant in pots, letting them spill over the sides. Many are surprisingly tough perennials, mounding between 6 inches and 2 feet or so, and will live for years. Enjoy truly fresh flavor!
Prevent Oxalis and other weeds in the lawn and around the Landscape.
This is the month to apply pre-emergent weed control to prevent a couple of spring’s tougher weeds. So, if you have Oxalis (small clover-like leaves with a yellow flower) your lawn or landscape bed has already been seeded for next year’s crop. Thousands of the microscopic seeds have been distributed after the spring and summer flower season. These seeds are poised to sprout as soon as the weather cools and rains begin.
Pre-emergent weed control products prevent seeds from sprouting but they do not control weeds that are already up and growing. Applying Bonide Crabgrass and Weed Preventer in fall will prevent weed seeds that typically sprout with the first fall rains. Applying now prevents oxalis and annual bluegrass and helps break the life cycle of the weed, bringing it into control.
Caution! Pre-Emergents will also prevent lawn seeds from sprouting. Postpone your weed prevention if you plan to reseed a lawn in the next couple of months.
Think spring now! The full range of fall planted, spring-blooming bulbs is here.
Choose from tulips, hyacinths, crocus, daffodils/narcissus, iris, freesias, anemones, belladonna lilies and more. For the best selection shop for fall bulbs early. Best to select bulbs by the middle or end of October for November/December planting.
Store fall bulbs in a cool dry place until the weather substantially cools this fall before planting. Refrigerate tulips and hyacinths for 6 weeks. The chilling enhances flower development providing for nice long stems. Put the bulbs in paper bags, label, date and put them in the crisper. Do not mistake them for soup ingredients. Be prepared to plant them as soon as you take them out of refrigeration (each day you delay you lose a week of chilling benefit).
This is a great way to accent your porch or patio. When they are finished blooming you can then relocate them to a side yard where they can continue to be watered and nurtured allowing them to dry down naturally. It’s important that the bulb is allowed to reabsorb all the energy of the leaves before they rest in summer.
Add another dimension to your fall bulb pot or garden by planting a blooming blanket of flowers over the top. Here are some great double deck combinations: yellow daffodils and dark blue/purple pansies; peach tulips and light blue forget-me-nots; white tulips and pastel yellow pansies; red tulips, white paludosum daisies with blue pansies.
Most fall bulbs are planted point up, but when in doubt, plant sideways! Our nursery professionals will show you what’s up and what’s down.
Choose bulbs that will provide a succession of bloom. There are varieties of tulips, daffodils, and narcissus and more that will provide early, mid, or late spring bloom.
The layered look not only works in fashion but in the garden too. In a pot or garden bed plant bulbs in layers to produce a mixed bouquet look. Bulbs are planted 2½ times their diameter deep. So plant the larger bulbs, like daffodils deep. Over the top of daffodils plant tulips, then freesia and finally grape hyacinths.
You can even layer the same kind of bulb. For instance plant all daffodils some at the recommended depth of 6-8″ and another layer at 4″. The shallower ones will bloom first and the deeper later.
Time for Our Annual October Tree Sale
Time for our Annual Tree Sale. It’s the perfect time to select trees – especially deciduous ones for autumn leaf color!
The freshly planted roots love the warm soil, and the cooling temperatures are quite forgiving on the foliage. Add in impending rain and you’ve got the perfect formula for successful tree planting. We have a very large selection of trees waiting to get out of their pots and into your soil.
We are offering a 20% OFF on all our trees and conifer selection, Citrus, Tropical Fruit, and Avocados.
Extra savings include 50% OFF ALL Paper Pot Fruit trees; 50% OFF ALL Paper Pot Roses; (EXCLUDES Carpet roses). 50%
Stock is limited so come in early for the best selection.
This sale excludes any pre-ordered and special ordered items, Carpet Roses, Camellias, Shrubs, Perennials, and Vines.
This sale is limited to stock on hand only. No special orders will be processed at sale prices. All sales are final, so make your selections carefully!
October vegetable gardening includes the addition of garlic, shallots and onions to the mix of leafy greens and cabbage/cauliflower relatives already on the table.
Garlic, shallots and onions from bulbs go into the ground now through mid-November
Leafy greens, peas, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots thrive when planted now before weather cools.
(family of 4)
|Special Notes||Plant Now|
|Artichoke||Year ’round||3 – 4 plants||Permanent, perennial.||4″ Pots|
|Garlic||October – January||10 – 20 ft. row||Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown. Note: plant through EARLY January for best results||From Bulbs|
|Onions (bulb)||September – March||30 – 40 ft. row||Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown. Onions are available as bulbs in fall and as bare root plants in early November.||From Bulbs|
|Carrots||Year ’round||20 – 30 ft. row||Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown. Can be planted more than once/year for a continuous harvest.||From Seeds|
|Chives||Year ’round||1 clump||Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown.||From Starts or Seeds|
|Parsley||Year ’round||1 – 2 plants||Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown.||From Starts|
|Radishes||Year ’round||4 ft. row||Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown. Can be planted more than once/year for a continuous harvest.||From Seed|
|Broccoli||August – February||15 – 20 ft. row||Can be planted more than once/year for a continuous harvest.||From Starts or Seeds|
|Brussels Sprouts||August – February||15 – 20 ft. row||N/A||From Starts or Seeds|
|Cabbage||August – February||10 – 15 plants||Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown.||From Starts or Seeds|
|Cabbage, Chinese||August – February||10 – 15 ft. row||Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown.||From Starts or Seeds|
|Cauliflower||August – February||10 – 15 plants||Tie leaves up and over head to protect from frosts.||From Starts or Seeds|
|Celery||August – February||20 – 30 ft. row||Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown.||From Starts or Seeds|
|Chard||August – February||3 – 4 plants||Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown.||From Starts or Seeds|
|Endive||August – February||10 – 15 ft. row||N/A||From Starts or Seeds|
|Kohlrabi||August – November||10 – 15 ft. row||Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown.||From Starts or Seeds|
|Leeks||August – February||10 ft. row||N/A||From Starts or Seeds|
|Lettuce||August – February||10 – 15 ft. row||Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown. Can be planted more than once/year for a continuous harvest.||From Starts or Seeds|
|Mustard||August – April||10 ft. row||N/A||From Starts or Seeds|
|Onions (green)||August – December||—-||From Starts or Seeds|
|Peas||September – January||30 – 40 ft. row||From Starts or Seeds|
|Spinach||September – January||10 – 20 ft. row||Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown.||From Starts or Seeds|
Things to do in the garden this month
Select and plant spring blooming bulbs this month and early next. There’s nothing like cheerful Daffodils coloring up cold February days.
Keep Tulips, Daffodils and Hyacinth cool until the weather outside is wintery. They benefit from being refrigerated for 4 to 6 weeks. Plant them by Thanksgiving weekend. Plant Iris, freesias, and others now.
Plant holiday favorites now. Plant hollies and other berry producing shrubs for winter decoration indoors and out. Try pomegranates and persimmons for ornamental and edible fruit.
Onion, Garlic, and Shallot Sets Are In! Ready to plant now for harvest next summer. Choose from red, yellow, or white onions, shallots, and white or pink garlic. Place bulbs 3 to 4 inches apart in rows that are 15 to 18 inches apart. Onions and garlic are shallow rooted plants, so keep them moist and free of weeds. Winter rains will soon do all the watering for you, making onions and garlic some of the easiest vegetables to grow in the garden.
Make sure to keep your gardenia green this winter. Feed with Master’s Azalea, Camellia, Gardenia Food and Iron Sulfate. When the soil cools they can no longer absorb nutrition.
Plant sweet peas from seed or transplants for late winter bloom. Choose old-fashioned climbing types or newer bush varieties. Protect them from snails and slugs with Bug-geta plus Snail, Slug, and Insect Control or Sluggo Plus.
Plant winter vegetables from transplants this month. Choose six pack plants. Protect them from cabbage worms with Monterey B.T., a safe biological control.
Azaleas, Camellias & Rhododendron Care For Fall. This is the month to switch from growth to bloom food for azaleas, camellias, and rhododendrons. From October to the finish of bloom feed monthly with Master Bloom. This phosphorous rich food is great for flower bud development. Rose and lilac growers have also reported fall and winter applications of Master Bloom have enhanced flowering.
They are planted in botanical gardens around the world so there must be a reason. And that reason is: annuals are always in bloom. They never rest like their cousins the perennials. Annuals are even blooming in the month of January when most of everything is resting. They just bloom and bloom until they cannot bloom anymore.
Keep your garden looking BRIGHT during those cloudy days of winter this year by planting some of these great winter bloomers:
- Pansy & Viola: smiling faces that say “HI” each time you go outside
- Snapdragon: childhood memories with their “snapping” mouth shaped flowers. GREAT cut flower to cheer up a room during cloudy months.
- Calendula: the winter marigold with its yellow and orange faces will always brighten up your garden during the grey months of winter.
- Stock: the fragrance factor flower. Bring them into your house and they will lightly perfume a room for you.
- Sweet Peas: plant bush form, knee hi, or tall vining varieties. Harvest many bouquets throughout the late winter and spring. The more you harvest the flowers the more the plants will give you in return.
- Primroses & Cyclamen: These are not annuals but great winter bloomers for the shade garden. They will even bloom for you in the complete shade if you keep them on the dry side. Both will bloom and bloom when everything else is still asleep during the cloudy days of winter. They can also take full sun during Dec, Jan and Feb so you can do a mixture of all winter annuals for your winter garden.
Do not forget that the summer annuals will do the same thing for the garden. They will always be blooming their fool heads off just to make their cousins – the perennials – look lazy.
Enjoy annuals. They love to show off in your garden.
Like colorful patches stitched to make a quilt, the first bulbs to arrive for fall planting here at Alden Lane are cheerful and bright. Bulbs in the landscape, like patches on a quilt, add color and beauty.
Many of the bulbs arriving now are water-wise and California friendly. They go into the ground now and bloom in spring with jewel-toned colors.
Dig, drop and done, as the saying goes. These bulbs are easy to plant. Let nature care for them over winter and be surprised when they bloom in Spring!
Colorful, bold and impressive, Bearded Iris are quite forgiving and require a minimum of maintenance. That is because their rhizomes (bulbs) are actually nutrient “storage” areas. Like camels, Bearded Iris can tolerate periods of benign neglect and are quite drought tolerant because they have this reserve storage that gets them through. But, rhizomes are both their strength and their weakness. Rhizomes are quite sensitive to moisture so be sure to keep them well drained and NEVER over water.
Known for being quite fragrant, freesias are nice planted among low groundcover plants where their floppy nature can be well supported. They also work well in containers. Plants bloom at about a foot high in late spring. Plant in full sun or partial shade.
Bold spikes of Gladiolus type flowers make watsonia great as cut flowers, They look best when allowed to develop large clumps and can reach to 3′ or 4′ in height; plant in full or morning sun.
Clusters of kaleidoscope-like patterned and colored flowers fill this plant that can reach up to 2″ wide. A spectacular addition to borders, rock gardens, and container plantings. Sparaxis is typically less than a foot tall
These star-shaped flowers bloom on wiry stems among narrow bladed leaves. We have slipped them into planting beds in fall to enjoy a pleasing blend of 18″ high blooms in early summer.
Also known as Wind Flowers, these are some of the first to bloom in spring. Soak your bulbs for a few hours in lukewarm water to “wake them up”. Loosen the soil and plant the anemones 1″-2″ down. Water well, soaking the area again after planting.
Another early bloomer. These truly magnificent, rose-like blossoms are wonderful as cut flowers. They bloom in a profusion of colors.