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Home Design : October Gardening Specifics . . .

September 23, 1989|Clipboard researched by Susan Davis Greene and Rick VanderKnyff / Los Angeles Times, Graphics by Doris Shields / Los Angeles Times

Put in your cool-season vegetable garden: broccoli, spinach, cauliflower and cabbage as well as onion sets, garden peas, carrots and beets.

Roses in most areas still have one more fling to come; feed and deeply water them now. Watch for mildew, which can be a problem this time of year.


This is the time to start planning your fall garden. Prepare all beds by pulling summer annuals and adding organic matter, such as peat moss or redwood compost to the soil. Turn over soil, incorporate organic matter, then add a balanced granular fertilizer, such as 10-10-5 or 14-14-14.

Start looking in local nurseries for fall annuals such as snap dragons, violas, poppies and pansies. Plan and prepare your garden now, but wait until October to plant. Fall is a good time to divide all spring-blooming perennials, such as alstromerias or campanulas.

Many of the spring-blooming bulbs, such as narcissus or tulips, will be available this month. Buy now while the selection is best, but do not plant until December.

Store tulips and hyacinths in the refrigerator for at least six weeks before planting to ensure proper flower formation. Early fall is the best time to start zonal and ivy geranium tip cuttings. Take cuttings from the new growth, preferably without bulbs or flowers. Dip the cuttings into a rooting hormone and place in perlite. Keep in filtered light and slightly moist until roots have formed, then transplant into a well-drained potting soil.

Sources: Sherman Library and Gardens garden director Wade Roberts and color specialist Susan Brozowski; the California Assn. of Nurserymen.

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