Magazine article Sunset

What to Do in Your Garden in October

Magazine article Sunset

What to Do in Your Garden in October

Article excerpt

PLANTING

* BERRIES FOR BIRDS. Zones 1-2, 7-9, 14-17: Set out plants that produce berries in winter, and invite birds to your garden. Many birds love berries of barberry, beautyberry, cotoneaster, currant, elderberry, gooseberry, holly, mahonia, mountain ash, nandina, pyracantha, and strawberry tree (not all plants grow in every zone).

* BULBS IN POTS. Zones 7-9, 14-17: For a big show in spring, plant bulbs of a single variety in big (16-inch diameter) flared pots. Follow this recipe from Sunset gardener Rick La Frentz: Fill pots with potting soil so the tops of bulbs will sit about 4 to 5 inches below the pot rim. Firm the soil, then set the bulbs (such as tulip or daffodil) close together. Cover with soil, leaving about 2 inches at the top for watering space. Set the pots in a cool, shady area, wet the soil, and cover with wood shavings or other mulch; water to make damp. Make sure the soil never dries out. Move pots into full sun when leaves develop. Flowers appear about four months after planting. A 16-inch pot will hold 40 to 50 tulips, daffodils, or hyacinths.

* COOL-SEASON FLOWERS. In zones 7-9, 14-17, plant forget-menots, pansies, primroses, and violas for a colorful show during winter. All are available at nurseries this month in sixpacks and in 4-inch containers.

* GRAPES, FRUIT TREES, AND BERRIES. If you plan to purchase special fruit varieties by mail, get your orders in soon so that you get the types you want in time for dormant-season planting. For a taste treat, try 'Arctic Supreme' white-fleshed peach, 'Dapple Dandy' pluot (both from Bay Laurel Nursery; 805/466-3406), or 'Spitzenberg' apple (from Sonoma Antique Apple Nursery; 707/433-6420). …

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