Follow Nature's lead — it's time to start some compost piles
|That's not litter. Those leaves are the building blocks for an excellent compost pile -- and they're free for the raking. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)|
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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Nov. 27
Before the rain comes later in the week, take advantage of sunny, calm days:
* This may be your last chance this season for the first application of copper fungicide spray to peach and nectarine trees. Leaf curl, which shows up in the spring, is caused by a fungus that winters as spores on the limbs and around the tree in fallen leaves. Sprays are most effective now, but they need a few days of dry weather after application to really “stick.” If you haven’t yet, spray now.
* Rake and compost leaves, but dispose of any diseased plant material. For example, if peach and nectarine trees showed signs of leaf curl this year, clean up under trees and dispose of those leaves instead of composting.
* Make sure storm drains are clear of any debris.
* Give your azaleas, gardenias and camellias a boost with chelated iron.
* Trim chrysanthemums to 6 to 8 inches above the ground after they’re done blooming. Keep potted mums in their containers until next spring. Then, they can be planted in the ground, if desired, or repotted.
* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs while dormant.
* Plant bulbs for spring bloom. Don’t forget the tulips chilling in the refrigerator. Other suggestions: daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths, anemones and scillas.
* Seed wildflowers including California poppies.
* Also from seed, plant sweet pea, sweet alyssum, bachelor buttons and other spring flowers.
* Plant most trees and shrubs. This gives them plenty of time for root development before spring growth. They also benefit from winter rains.
* Set out cool-weather annuals such as pansies and snapdragons.
* Lettuce, cabbage, broccoli and cool-season greens can be planted now.
* Plant garlic and onions.
* If you decide to use a living Christmas tree this year, keep it outside in a sunny location until Christmas week. This reduces stress on the young tree.
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