Home & Garden

What to do after it rains (hint: Stop mosquitoes)

Enjoy mosquitoes? If so, leave some standing water in your yard for a while.
Enjoy mosquitoes? If so, leave some standing water in your yard for a while. Sacramento Bee file

Is your garden enjoying our recent rain? After years of drought, so much October rain – 4.4 inches – gave our landscapes a good, deep soaking. It likely left little pools of standing water, too.

Don’t let that water sit. The weather is still warm enough for mosquitoes to breed in those little puddles. Empty the water from saucers under potted plants, preferably onto other plants that need that moisture such as under eaves where the rain didn’t reach. Then, put those saucers away for winter. (Plants don’t want to sit in water, either.)

If you used buckets to collect rainwater, transfer it to containers that can be closed (such as recycled 1-gallon plastic jugs) to prevent mosquito or other bug issues. If rain is in the forecast or after a storm, turn off your irrigation systems. Every inch of rain means one week without sprinklers.

Elsewhere in the garden:

▪  November is ideal for planting perennials, shrubs and trees. The ground is soft enough to work. It’s also prime time for moving plants.

▪  Plant daffodils, tulips, hyacinths and other spring-blooming bulbs now. To extend the blooms in March and April, stagger your bulb planting throughout November.

▪  Mulch flower and perennial beds. Cover spring-flowering bulb beds with mulch, too.

▪  Watch out for snails and slugs. They’ll attack new transplants and anything with fresh growth. Hand-pick those little munchers at night before they chow down.

▪  Plant garlic and onions; they’ll be ready in late spring or summer.

▪  Transplant cool-weather vegetables such as lettuce, cabbage and kale.

▪  Transplant cool-weather annuals including calendula, pansy, snapdragon, primrose and viola.

▪  Get out and enjoy your garden during warm days; there won’t be many more this year.