If you are overseeding with fescue or rye for winter, quit feeding and watering Bermuda lawns and overseed them now. Otherwise, continue to feed and water Bermuda lawns to delay their dormancy.
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Lakewood, CA 90712
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"The watering of a garden requires as much judgment as the seasoning of a soup."
~Helena Rutherford Ely
Summer vegetable gardening enthusiasts seem to out-number those that
grow vegetables in the fall by quite a bit. We're not really sure
why. Fall vegetable gardening has a lot of things going for it.
temperatures are not as hot, so the garden does not require as much
water as it did in the summer; it's also much more pleasant to garden
in the cooler weather.
There are not as many pests and generally the
weed growth is not quite as rampant.
Of course, the variety of vegetables you will be growing in the fall
will be different.
While summer is all about plants that bear
delicious fruits (think tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, cucumbers,
etc.), fall vegetables shift the focus to leaves, stems, roots,
flower buds and pods.
Leafy vegetables include lettuce, chard, spinach, collards, kale,
cabbage, Brussels sprouts, mustard, endive and chicory.
lettuce category, you can grow either leaf lettuce or head lettuce
and there are enough varieties to keep your gardening endlessly
Until recently a rarely-grown vegetable, healthy kale
seems to be enjoying a cult-like following of late, with many recipes
available for a variety of dishes, from modernized steamed dishes to
Leeks could also be put in this category, as the edible
part of the plant is actually the bundle of leaf sheaths near the
Leaf crops like ample water, so be sure to keep the
soil evenly moist.
A well-known vegetable grown for its stems is celery.
Try celery only
if you have some experience with gardening.
It is slow growing and
requires a long, cool growing season of 120-140 days to produce a
crop, so be sure your climate can provide for its needs before
Another, less well-known stem-type vegetable is kohlrabi;
give it a try if you're feeling adventurous!
In the root vegetable line-up we have beets, carrots, turnips,
rutabagas, parsnips and celery root.
With flavors that range from
slightly bitter to pleasantly sweet, these vegetables will contribute
some interesting additions to your fall and winter menus.
salads, they also provide a hearty addition to soups and stews and
many are great roasted.
Broccoli and cauliflower are the contenders in the flower bud
These plants will form heads best when the nighttime
temperatures average 45-50 degrees Fahrenheit.
With broccoli, once
the large main head is harvested, the plant will form side shoots
which also can be used.
Garden peas, snow peas and sugar snap peas make up the pod section.
Garden peas are the traditional pea which must be shelled before eating; snow peas have a translucent, thin pod and are never shelled; sugar snap peas are a cross between garden peas and snow peas, with a thicker edible pod than a snow pea.
All varieties are available in climbing and bush varieties.
Regular water is the name of the game
for peas, with a slight drying-out period between applications.
When selecting the area for your garden, choose a spot that will
receive at least six hours of sun per day (more is even better).
Cultivate the soil (either by hand, if the area is small or with a
rototiller for larger plots), mixing in a good amount of organic soil
amendment and some pre-planting fertilizer.
An efficient way of planting is to plant the vegetables right in the water ditch; this way the
water is immediately available to the roots of the plants.
Think about starting a garden journal to detail your successes and
Keep track of varieties used (save the seed packages or variety labels that came with the plants) and problems encountered.
This will help you decide which vegetables to plant in next year's fall garden! Bon appétit!
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Popular years ago, indoor plants are making a huge comeback. Their lush, green foliage can truly perk up a dreary interior environment and can be a beautiful addition to any home or office.
Not only are they attractive to look at, but indoor plants also convert the carbon oxide that we breathe out into oxygen, thereby refreshing our indoor surroundings.
Most indoor plants are hybrids that grow wild somewhere in the world.
The key to successfully growing plants indoors is to replicate the environment they naturally grow in.
The main factors are location, lighting, water, humidity, and feeding.
A few minutes of care each week help your plants flourish, providing years of enjoyment.
Bright windowsills are a perfect location for a number of indoor plants to thrive and help chase the winter blues away.
(Just make sure to move them in the summer if the area receives direct afternoon sun.) Rotate each container after a few days so that all parts of your plants get an even amount of sunlight.
As a rule of thumb, keep the soil moist but not soaking wet.
Ensure that the pot has good drainage for excess water.
Too much water locked in the pot rots the roots.
Most indoor environments are dry and have little humidity.
So, use a mister to spray water on the leaves on very dry days.
You can also place your pots on containers full of pebbles.
Pour water in the container often.
This will hydrate your plants from the bottom.
Even though indoor plants tend to grow much more slowly than they would outdoors in their natural environments, they still require an infusion of nutrients throughout the year.
We recommend using a balanced plant food (use as directed).
Indoor plants add color and can dramatically cheer up a home or office, especially during the dog days of winter.
We invite you to visit us and pick up a few of these gems today!
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Next to spring, fall can be the best time for some colorful action in
the rose garden. While most modern hybrids do bloom through the
summer, the bloom size tends to decrease substantially as a result of
the high summer temperatures. As fall approaches, roses once again
"come into their own," sporting some of the largest
blooms seen since the previous spring. Take some time to enjoy this
display, because all too soon, they will be entering their winter
period of dormancy.
Here are some fall tasks to help ensure your roses will remain
healthy and ready to take off again next spring:
- Continue watering
will not need to water as frequently as you did in the summertime,
but roses still require water through the fall. Continue to water
deeply but less often.
After October, fertilizer is no longer necessary or desirable as you
want to encourage the plants to enter dormancy.
Continue treating for insects and diseases
Treat only if you notice any damage.
Clean the area around the plants
Pick up and dispose of any fallen
leaves or old flowers. Healthy leaves can be used in the compost
pile, but do not use those that are damaged by insects or disease.
Do not prune
While you may continue cutting flowers to bring in the house, do
not cut the plants back severely yet. Wait until January to do your
major yearly pruning.
Assess your rose garden
Now is a good time to look at your
rose garden with a critical eye. Are there roses that did not
perform to your expectations or plants that have lived past their
prime? You can remove those plants now to make space for some new
plants come bare root season (December through February).
Think about candidates to add to your rose
garden. Whether you're looking for fragrance, large flowers,
blooms to cut or unusual color combinations, there's a rose
that will fit the bill! Go online and see all the new varieties (and
all the old favorites) available.
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Looking for something a little out-of-the-ordinary to plant in your
fall garden? Why not give Swiss chard a try? Swiss chard makes a
healthful addition to the cool-season garden; it contains no fat, is
low in calories and cholesterol and is a good source for vitamins A
and C as well as calcium and iron. It is easy to grow as long as its
basic requirements are met: full sun (or at least 6 hours of sun per
day), and a fertile, well-drained soil.
Both leaves and stems are edible and can be eaten either cooked or
raw. A 10-foot row will typically yield between 8 and 12 pounds of
chard. White stemmed varieties generally out-perform their more
colorful relatives (red, pink, yellow or orange-ribbed varieties),
but for a little diversity plant both types.
Incorporate 2"-4" of a good-quality soil amendment into
the planting bed, along with some pre-plant fertilizer.
If planting by seed, plant them 1/2"-1" deep and 3"
apart, then thin them to 12" apart (this is more easily done
by using small scissors rather than pulling them out).
If planting seedlings, space them 12" apart.
Apply regular water to maintain even soil moisture; plants that have
been subjected to water fluctuations will often produce tough
Since Swiss chard does not compete well with weeds, be vigilant and
remove them early.
Insects and Diseases
Swiss chard is relatively fast growing and is not susceptible to
The main pests to watch for are aphids, slugs and flea beetles.
Treat these insects with an appropriate insecticide labeled for use
in vegetable gardens.
Harvesting and Storage
Leaves can be harvested when they are young and tender or at their mature stage. Harvest leaves from the outside of the plant first.
Chard leaves can be stored in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.
Swiss chard can be substituted for spinach in any recipe, and the
crisp ribs of the plant can be grilled for a unique side dish.
When the weather warms up in the spring, the plant will "bolt"
(produce flowers). This is your cue that it's time to remove
your chard plants and replace them with a warm-season vegetable of
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Is it bad to have mushrooms growing in my lawn?
Not really, but elves sure like them! Mushrooms are the spore-producing structures of certain kinds of fungi.
Most of these fungi are beneficial because they break down organic matter and release nutrients that are necessary for plant growth.
In fall, as the weather begins to cool, mushrooms often pop up in lawns, causing people to wonder where they're coming from and how to control them.
Mushrooms produce tiny spores that are easily blown about in the wind.
When these spores reach a favorable place, they germinate and grow.
They are very common in areas with decomposing roots or underground stumps from cut down trees, fallen leaves or lawn thatch and other organic matter.
Most people want to control lawn mushrooms.
Sorry to say, we have yet to find any chemicals that are effective in controlling them.
Most mushrooms are harmless to your lawn, even though you might not like the way they look.
The best you can do is to remove them with a rake and de-thatch your lawn in the fall.
De-thatching removes the fungi's food source.
Simply removing the mushrooms may make your lawn look better, but it will not kill the mycellium from which the mushrooms grow.
You should be extremely cautious about eating wild mushrooms, because many cause illness and some are deadly.
Never eat a mushroom unless you are absolutely sure it is safe.
A reference book is not enough--there are poisonous mushrooms that look very similar to non-poisonous ones.
If you wish to pick wild mushrooms, please get training first!
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This is one of the best, easiest and most delicious chilis for the fall season! Enjoy!
What You'll Need:
- 2 pounds of chicken breasts
- 3 green peppers
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 3 jalapeños, finely chopped (if you have someone who can't handle spicy, skip these and serve the chili with a hot sauce instead).
- 1 package of mushrooms
- 3 cans white navy beans
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 3 tablespoons butter (do not use margarine)
- 2 cups of cheddar cheese, grated
Step by Step:
- In a large stock pot, bring 1 cup of water to a boil; add 2 cups chicken stock , 1 teaspoon of pepper, 1 teaspoon of cumin, and the cans of navy beans (do not drain).
- Bring all of that to a boil and put the burner on simmer.
- Chop 3 green peppers and onion into bite-sized pieces.
- Finely chop jalapeños (remember the heat comes from the membrane around the seeds; if you want less heat, discard the seeds)
- Chop the chicken breast into bite-sized pieces and, in a separate skillet, brown until done.
- Add the mushrooms, green peppers, jalapeños and onion to the stock pot. After the chicken has cooked and is done, add that to the stock pot.
- Add the 2 cups of chicken stock.
- In a separate skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of butter; add 4 tablespoons of flour and stir well (you are making a roux to thicken the chili). After the roux has been cooked through (do not brown, just cook for 2 minutes on medium), add to the stock pot.
- Stir till combined completely. Raise the heat to medium and allow to thicken.
- Gradually add the 1 cup of the shredded cheese.
- Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top of bowls when serving.