November to-do list
By Rebecca Jepsen
Fall is a good time to replace worn-out plants and shrubs. Larger plants such as perennials and shrubs put down their roots in the winter when temperatures are mild and rainwater is available.
Monitor your limes and lemons -- Persian limes, in particular -- for stylar rot. Depressed areas will appear leathery and dry. You will notice a sunken patch at the stylar tip (end) of the fruit that will start out looking like a water-soaked, whitish area. It can cover a quarter to half of the fruit, with the inside tissue becoming pinkish or brown. To cut your losses, pick the fruit before it fully matures.
Control ants by caulking cracks and other points of entry to your home. Ant baits can be effective; ants are attracted to the bait and then carry a small portion back to the nest, where it will kill the colony. Boric acid and Fipronil baits are most effective.
Check for powdery mildew on apple trees. This fungus appears as distorted or stunted young leaves, and can survive the winter in infected buds. Prune out diseased twigs -- look for shoots that are white with flattened, pointed buds.
Watch for autumn signs of termite infestation, especially swarming of the small white, tan or black winged insects. Complete inspection and control may require trained professionals. Find more info from UC's Integrated Pest Management program,
What to plant now
Transplants: arugula, Asian greens, garlic, lettuce, mustard, onion, and spinach. Local nurseries should have a good supply of most of these.
Seeds: Asian greens, lettuce, fava beans, lettuce, mustard, radishes and spinach.Have a question for Rebecca Jepsen and the other Master Gardeners? Call the hot line, 408-282-3105, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, or visit the website at www.mastergardeners.org.