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October is like April in some ways. It's a genuine gardening month and a chance to get a head-start with excellent sunny days and warm weather but it frequently turns to winter and on Halloween (like Easter) it's usually pretty hard on he kids. November, like March can go either way. March has the advantage of longer days for getting hardy veggies going early but November has much warmer soil for keeping roots growing and the shorter days equate to less evapotranspiration and less stress on the above-ground portions of plants while root growth progresses in ernest.
Plant bulbs now. We hand select our favorites for their beauty, interest, persistence and repeat performance. Almost ALL of the bulbs we offer you are deer and rodent resistant perennials and we have bulbs that bloom in late February through bulbs that bloom in early August. You can plant hardy spring-blooming bulbs any time between now and ... February but it's a lot more trouble planting them under several feet of snow or in frozen ground (both of which I've done... more than once). If you're considering planting wildflowers, remember to also plant wildflower-type bulbs and be sure to plant some 4"-pots of native wildflowers at the same time to really get a jump on establishment.
Fall is for planting. Fall is NOT for pruning. I think the common misconception comes from the warmer climes of CA & the southwest where there really is no winter and fall and spring overlap in December and January (imagine pears with fall color and spring blooms at the same time as frequently happens there.) Woody plants store their winter reserves of food in their stems, branches, trunks and roots (plants are alive and respiring all winter). Fall pruning steals-away the energy they have saved. Pruning cuts made on dormant wood in fall do not seal over and the fresh-cut tissues dry-out and die-back in our long winters. There is also a much greater chance of infection from fungal disease when cuts are made in fall. Cuts made in late winter / early spring seal-over as top-growth begins (and the stored energy in the stems has been used to maintain vigor). That said, if you have a funky branch that the snow is going to remove if you don't... absolutely, prune it now.
We don't LOVE tree wrapping. We do it because it is inexpensive insurance against breakage and toppling in the first winter or two after planting and it can protect at-risk trees or shrubs for many years where snow is stored, thrown or shoved. It is best to prune well the first few years in order to develop plants that will tolerate our potentially very heavy snow-loads. We'll have a couple more classes this fall / winter. Follow our Facebook page for far more frequent updates and information.
Take advantage of the newsletter coupon for Biosol. If you've never tried it, it is expensive, it smells and it's crazy-good for improving soil, feeding beneficial soil biology and for feeding plants over a very long period. We use it alternately (Biosol fall) with Dr.Earth or G&B fertilizers because they'll also inoculate your soils with fresh microorganisms. It's probiotics folks and it's been going on in farming for millennia. The Sierras are only 3-4 million years old, an infant range, our rocks need a lot of help supporting plant life. Oh, and please, don't forget to mulch, on top, to hold moisture, protect roots & microbes, and provide a long-term source of carbon for the soil.
Indian Summer (The Sweet-Spot for planting EVERYTHING!)
Oct. Hours: Mon.-Sat. 9:50AM-5:00PM & Sunday10:00AM-4:00PM
If you need help with products, plans, bids or consulting, please contact us with your questions or for an appointment. You can also call and leave a message at 530-587-0771