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UC IPM program debuts e-newsletter

Resource for gardeners to be published three times annually

Screen shot
This is a screen shot of the first page of the new e-newsletter from UC IPM.

No gardener enjoys battling pests in spring. But there's a way to at least limit the damage: Do a thorough cleanup of the garden in fall and winter.

That's one of the messages in the new email newsletter from the University of California Integrated Pest Management program.

UC IPM is an invaluable resource for anyone who spends time with plants, from farmers to backyard gardeners. The program's experts, for example, track invasive pests that could ruin California's valuable agricultural output. On a smaller scale, they also recommend environmentally friendly methods of pest abatement so home gardeners can avoid using toxic chemicals.

All recommendations and information are solidly based on UC research. And pests, of course, aren't just insects but things such as weeds, invasive plants, diseases, birds, mammals and reptiles.

The newsletter will go out three times per year, produced by the Urban and Community IPM Team. Email signup is here.

Issue No. 1 includes an extensive list of garden tasks for fall and winter, starting with that all-important cleanup, but also pruning, planting, adjusting irrigation, monitoring for pests and lawn care.

The Invasive Pest Spotlight article focuses on the black fig fly, a new invasive species recently found in Southern California orchards.

The IPM program website, a veritable rabbit hole of pest information, is ipm.ucanr.edu .

-- Kathy Morrison

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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Oct. 2

Plan to make the most of the mild weather in your garden.

* October is the best month to plant trees and shrubs.

* October also is the best time to plant perennials in our area. Add a little well-aged compost and bone meal to planting holes or beds, but hold off on other fertilizers until spring. Keep the transplants well-watered (but not wet) for the first month as they become settled.

* Now is the time to plant seeds for many flowers directly into the garden, including cornflower, nasturtium, nigella, poppy, portulaca, sweet pea and stock.

* Plant seeds for radishes, bok choy, mustard, spinach and peas.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Set out cool-weather bedding plants, including calendula, pansy, snapdragon, primrose and viola.

* Reseed and feed the lawn. Work on bare spots.

* Dig up corms and tubers of gladioluses, dahlias and tuberous begonias after the foliage dies. Clean and store in a cool, dry place.

* Treat azaleas, gardenias and camellias with chelated iron if leaves are yellowing between the veins.

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