While the Rogue Valley was getting drenched this last weekend by the lower edge of Cyclone Pabuk, gardeners throughout the area were doing what they do – pondering the tasks still left to complete before putting their gardens to bed. Many have late season gardens still packed with spinach, chard, kale, broccoli and more. It never ends really…
If you had issues with soil drainage during that last rainy season, you should consider improving your soil drainage needs before the next rains begin.
Register to become an OSU Master Gardener! Contact the extension offices: In Jackson County, call 541/776-7371. In Josephine County, call 541/476-6613. This is a great way to spend some of the winter down time, meet some great people and learn some stuff!
Maintenance and Clean Up
Drain your irrigation system and insulate valve mechanisms and faucets.
Recycle disease-free plant material and kitchen vegetable and fruit scraps into compost.
Use newspaper or cardboard covered by mulch to discourage winter and spring annual weeds or remove a lawn area for conversion to garden beds.
Harvest sunflower heads; roast for personal use and leave some in your yard for winter forage for various creatures.
Dig and store potatoes; keep in darkness, moderate humidity, temperature about 40°F. Discard unused potatoes if they sprout. Don’t use as seed potatoes for next year.
Ripen green tomatoes indoors. Check often and discard rotting fruit.
Harvest and store apples; keep at about 40°F, moderate humidity.
Place mulch over roots of roses, azaleas, rhododendrons and berries for winter protection.
Cover asparagus and rhubarb beds with a mulch of manure or compost.
Clean, sharpen and oil tools and equipment before storing for winter.
Store garden supplies and fertilizers in a safe, dry place out of reach of children.
Prune out dead fruiting canes in raspberries.
Harvest squash and pumpkins; keep in dry area at 55° to 60°F.
Dig and divide rhubarb. (Should be done about every 4 years.)
Propagate chrysanthemums, fuchsias, geraniums by stem cuttings.
Save seeds from the vegetable and flower garden. Dry, date, label, and store in a cool and dry location.
Plant ground covers and shrubs.
Dig and store geraniums, tuberous begonias, dahlias, and gladiolas.
Pot and store tulips and daffodils to force into early bloom, indoors, in December and January.
Pest Monitoring and Management
Monitor landscape plants for problems. Don’t treat unless a problem is identified.
Remove and dispose of windfall apples that might be harboring apple maggot or codling moth larvae.
Rake and destroy diseased leaves.
Spray apple and stone fruit trees at leaf fall to prevent various fungal and bacterial diseases. Obtain a copy of Managing Diseases and Insects in Home Orchards (EC 631) from your local Extension office. If you do not want to spray dormant oil on your trees, clean up under your trees really well and spray the ground inside of the drip line. This will go a long way to reducing pest infestations in the spring.
If moles and gophers are a problem, consider adopting a large cat from the Rogue Valley Humane Society.
Control fall-germinating lawn weeds while they are small. Hand weeding and weeding tools are particularly effective at this stage. A hula-hoe is a good choice for this activity.
Houseplants and Indoor Gardening
Early October: Reduce water, place in cool area (50-55°F) and increase time in shade or darkness (12-14 hours) to force Christmas cactus to bloom in late December.
Place hanging pots of fuchsias where they won't freeze. Don't cut back until spring.
Check/treat houseplants for disease and insects before bringing indoors.