Why you can grow these summer vegetables for a winter crop now – Orange County Register

Five things to do in the garden this week.

1. Can you still plant tomatoes? I remember seeing some tomato plants in the garden section of a hardware store this time last year. They were leftover, popular cherry tomato varieties that should be planted by mid-July to get the maximum harvest from them. I planted them in October and they just sat in the ground until spring when they started to flower and bear fruit and did beautifully all summer and now into fall. When I called a local Armstrong Garden Center, I was told that they currently carry three tomato varieties – Stupice, Siletz, and Oregon Spring – which, planted now, should bloom and bear fruit throughout the winter months. They are all heirloom, open-pollinated varieties, meaning each fruit has its own unique quality (or qualities) that can include color, size, shape, juiciness, or flavor.

2. Now is the time to plant Icelandic poppies, also known as champagne poppies because their calyx-shaped flowers, when upright on their stalks (flower stalks), resemble champagne glasses. You’ll need to start by heavily amending your soil with ready-made compost, whether you make your own from leftover vegetable and fruit peels, yard waste, and leaves, or buy it in bags. Plant them in full sun and apply a 20-20-20 water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks. Organic fertilizers break down in the heat of summer, but not in cooler weather. Water from below, overhead watering damages flowers. To keep your poppies flowering to maximum capacity, remove faded flowers daily by cutting the flower stalks just above the leaves growing at their bases.

Daffodil. (Photo by Joshua Siskin)
Daffodil. (Photo by Joshua Siskin)

3. When perusing flowers at the nursery for fall planting, select those in cell packs or six-packs, as opposed to 4-inch or gallon sizes, for savings. Planted and cared for properly, these smaller plants will quickly catch up with the size of the larger ones. When removing plants from their containers, regardless of their size, check to see if the root balls are mostly soil or roots. When roots predominate, they become tightly packed, disrupting proper plant growth and flowering potential. Soak such root balls in water for a few hours. At this point, you can vigorously shake the root balls under water to loosen them up, then gently untangle the roots if necessary to help them spread into the soil. Remember that soil ready for planting offers no resistance when you dip your shovel or trowel into it; Ideally, such a luxurious floor should reach to a depth of at least eight inches. Fertilize every two weeks with a water-soluble granulate.

4. Wherever you live in Southern California, you can find daffodils (Narcissus) varieties suited to the cold or lack thereof in your area, varieties that will bloom again year after year and never need to be dug up refrigerated, or otherwise pampered from one year to the next. They only have one requirement in common when it comes to garden longevity: total absence of soil moisture in summer, no matter how hot it gets; Otherwise they will rot. If it weren’t for the seemingly endless drought, I’d say, “Never water your daffodils.” However, if there’s no rain in the winter, it would be appropriate to water the emerging shoots in January, or certainly February, when historically most rain falls in Southern California falls. Reliable, small-flowered daffodil varieties that will last a lifetime and beyond include Paperwhites, Chinese Sacred Lilies, Minnow, Trevithian, and Grand Soleil d’Or. Indestructible large-flowered daffodils also include Arctic Gold, Ice Follies, Falstaff, Gold Court, and King’s Court.

5. After a recent column mentioning trees for fall color, I received an email from Susan Savoainen, who gardens in Banning. “One tree you left out is persimmon, which has both variegated leaves and orange fruit ‘ornaments’,” she wrote. “Another is the pomegranate, which has beautiful golden leaves in the fall.” Now is an excellent time to plant these and other deciduous trees, whether fruit trees or purely ornamental. There are two types of persimmons: astringent, like hachaya, which are bitter until tender, and non-astringent, like fuyu, which can be eaten either hard or soft. And yet astringent varieties, when softened, are significantly sweeter than the non-astringent varieties. Regarding the sweetness of persimmons, it was kind of a breakthrough when it was discovered that Sharon, an astringent persimmon variety developed in Israel, became sweet after exposure to air enriched with carbon dioxide. Treated in this way, Sharon and perhaps other astringent strains can remain firm yet sublime after carbon dioxide exposure for unmatched sweetness.

Please send questions, comments and photos to joshua@perferctplants.com.

https://www.ocregister.com/2022/10/07/why-you-can-plant-these-summer-vegetables-now-for-a-winter-crop/ Why you can grow these summer vegetables for a winter crop now – Orange County Register

Adam Bradshaw

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