If your ornamental garden beds are as jam-packed as a summer vegetable garden, it may be time to clean them out, too, and ready the soil for a few new plants or re-work parts of it for old ones.

Just like soil for edibles, ornamental beds require fortification to produce healthy and stalwart beauties. Where plants are struggling, you may find better success by lifting them out, digging in compost and replanting.

Where there's disappointment from poorly performing plants, it makes more sense to simply toss them, fortify the soil, and start anew with plants fresh from the nursery. We're on the cusp of the rainy season and now is the ideal time to make these kinds of major changes.

Check with your local nurseries for sale dates and shop at Jail Industries, 2254 Ordinance Road off Airport Boulevard in Santa Rosa next Saturday, Oct. 5, 9 a.m. to noon for timely bargains.

Rosemary McCreary, a Sonoma County gardener, gardening teacher and author, writes the monthly Homegrown column for The Press Democrat. Write to her at P.O. Box 910, Santa Rosa, 95402; or send fax to 664-9476.