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Maintaining Your New California Garden: Life-friendly Fall Pruning

  Mother Nature's Backyard in November: illustrating life-friendly fall pruning. Late fall and early winter are important prun...

Your Gardening Calendar - September

 
  
 
September in the Southern California Garden
Each month has its special joys and tasks in the garden.  Below is a suggested calendar for September.  Remember that gardening depends on the weather, so tasks, bloom season and activities may vary from year to year.
Best of Show:
 
§  Flowers: Brickellia californica (sweet fragrance),*Chrysothamnus nauseosus, Ericameria ericoides, Eriogonum cinerium, Hazardia squarrosa, Helianthus annuus, Heterotheca spp., Isocoma menziesii,  Solidago spp., Symphyotrichum/Aster spp.,   
§  Fruits/berries/seeds: Comarostaphylis diversifolia, Eriogonum spp., *Forestiera pubescens, * Rhamnus spp., Rosa californica, Sambucus nigra cerulea (coastal), Vitis spp.
§  Foliage: evergreen trees & shrubs
 
Planning:
§  Sort/clean/store seeds collected in spring/summer
§  Make a list of plants you want to purchase at the fall native plant sales (check local chapters of CA Native Plant Society and native plant nurseries for dates, times, plant lists)
 
Hardscape/General:
§  Repair/install hardscape (paths, fences, walls, patio, pond, etc.)
§  Install/repair/clean irrigation: gutters, sprinklers, rain barrels, french drain, rain garden hardscape, etc.
§  Continue lawn/ivy removal – you’ll soon be done!
§  Prepare veg. garden for winter veggies; remove spent plants, fertilize, mulch
§  Start a compost bin/pile for your cuttings
 
Propagation:
§  From seed: cool-season grass plugs; winter veggie crops (see next bullet)
§  Start chilling seeds w/ long (2-3+ month) pre-plant stratification;
 
Planting:
§  Plant out cool-season vegetables from starts/pony packs: broccoli,  cabbage, cauliflower, celery, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, other greens; keep well-watered – likely daily water in early morning or evening.
 
Watering: major watering month for Zone 2 & 3
§  Taper off watering all but Zone 2-3 & 3 plants.  Keep vegetable gardens, containers & other Zone 3 plants watered – particularly if Santa Anna winds are predicted
 
Pruning/Mowing/Dividing:
§  Sharpen/repair planting & pruning tools after summer (light) pruning tasks;  consider buying new/better tools if appropriate (they might even be on sale now)
§  Rake out cool-season grasses; mow or cut back if needed;
§  Prune to thin:
o    Adenostoma spp.
§  Divide native bulbs/corms; store or replant
 
Weeds/Diseases/Pests:
§  Grasshoppers can eat a lot at this time of year
§  Gophers may be getting desperate
 
Birds/Insects/Habitat:
§  Buy a birdbath, fountain, even just a flat container to provide a welcome drink for the birds; keep it filled
§  This is a great time to observe the fall pollinators on Buckwheats and Sunflowers – get out your camera
§  Consider adding a bird feeder to supply extra bird food this time of year (at least until your Sunflowers go to seed)
 
Edibles/Crafts:
§  Pick ripe winter squash, tomatoes, peppers; enjoy a new recipe using the fresh summer vegetables
§  Pick fresh sweet corn near coast
 
Enjoying the garden:
§  Treat  yourself to a good set of pruners
§  Enjoy fall blooming bush sunflowers; notice all the insect visitors to these wonderful plants
§  Upload your photos of birds and insects to iNaturalist (https://www.inaturalist.org/)
§  Enjoy scent of Bricklebush in late afternoon
§  Sip iced tea made from native mints; they’re cool and refreshing on hot September days
 
8/24/2017

 
 
 


 
 
 

 


 

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