September is Time to Plant Fall And Winter Flower And Vegetable Gardens
While most gardeners around the country are winding down their gardens for the year, Southern California gardeners can plant a fresh crop of vegetables and blooms in September and October for enjoyment during fall and winter.
Prepare Your Soil For Fall Flowers: Remove annuals. Break up and till the soil and generously add compost or organic planting mix. You may want to wait a week or two before adding fresh plants. This will give weeds enough time to germinate. Remove the weeds while they are small so they will be less of a headache later on.
Plant Your Winter Flower Garden: Begin planting your fall and winter flower garden towards the end of September. While blasts of hot, Santa Ana winds will blow from September through November, September nights are generally cool and days pleasantly warm–perfect growing conditions. Your fall garden can include calendula, delphiniums, larkspur, Iceland poppy, pansies, snapdragon and stock. In shady areas, plant primrose, daisies and cineraria.
Trim Perennials: Perennials are beginning to lose their summer luster. Trim excess plant growth and remove sagging summer flowers.
Plant Wildflowers: Instead of scattering wildflower seeds on the surface of the soil and hope they will grow, for best results, rake the soil gently, spread the seeds and cover lightly with soil. The seeds will begin to germinate once wet weather arrives.
Plant Spring Bulbs: Spring bulbs will soon be available at local nurseries. Now is the time to plant bulbs for such plants as tulips, daffodils and hyacinth.
Plant Your Vegetables: When summer vegetable plants stop producing a robust crop (late September or October), remove the plants and replace them with vegetable plants that will produce through winter. Cool weather vegetables include cabbage, peas, broccoli, lettuce and green onions.
Prepare for the Santa Ana Winds: Santa Ana winds can wreck havoc on newly planted trees, shrubs and gardens. New, shallow root systems can’t replace water as fast as water is drawn from leaves by the winds. The winds can devastate a garden in a matter of days if water is not provided. When winds kick up, be prepared to quickly get out the garden hose and give your plants the moisture they need.
Bill Camarillo is CEO of Agromin, an Oxnard, California-based manufacturer of premium soil products and the green materials recycler for communities throughout Southern California. Each month, Agromin receives and processes thousands of tons of urban wood and green waste. Agromin then uses a safe, organic and scientific system to formulate its soil products from the processed recycled green materials. www.agromin.com.