Fall is an active time in Southern California gardens! Keeping up with all the chores that need to be done and plants that need to be planted can be a challenge. Here are some of the most important tasks to be completed in your garden this season.
- Water, water, water. After a long hot summer, a typical garden in Southern California can start to look pretty crispy by early fall. Watering regularly is crucial. If you don’t already have an automatic watering system, trudging out to the garden on a regular basis will get tiring. Using a timer and a drip watering system can help you keep up with the responsibility.
- Prep the soil. Your summer plants may have zapped the nutrients from the soil. If you’re planting fall and winter crops, now is the time to reinvigorate your soil. Amending your soil with homemade compost is a good way to get started with this project. To find out more about about amending your soil with compost, check out this Sunset Garden video.
- Dig out spent summer plants. Use a garden hoe and spade to dig out summer vegetable plants that have finished producing. Don’t leave plants in the garden over the winter, as dead plants can attract fungus and mildew.
- Check the weather. Santa Ana winds will take a lot out of your plants. Keep an eye on the weather report for extra hot weather, and adjust your watering schedule accordingly.
October is a big month for planting in Southern California gardens! With your soil properly amended and repaired, the sky is the limit for your garden.
- California native plants. With the soil still summer warm and our rainy season just around the corner, mid-October through January is the ideal time to plant trees, shrubs and ground covers but most of all California native and Mediterranean plants. These species are particularly well suited to our seasonal rhythms.For an excellent article and a list of plants that are ideal for fall planting, check out Eva Knoppel’s excellent blog, Fall is the Time for Planting California Natives.
- Start seeds and transplants. There’s a lot to plant for your winter vegetable garden in the month of October. Now is the time to get started with lettuce, collards, cabbage, brussels sprouts, radishes, peas and beets.
- Continue to build up the soil. You can never have soil that’s too healthy. Continue to add compost to your soil throughout the fall before planting new crops.
- Plant bulbs. Plant your spring bulbs like tulips and daffodils, and dig up summer bulbs like dahlias and gladiolus. Digging up bulbs can be a process. You’ll need pruning shears and a spade. Take a look at this video below for some tips:
November is a time for tending winter vegetables and harvesting the last of the summer veggies.
- Protect the last of the tomatoes and peppers. Summer vegetables like tomatoes and peppers can last through November and even into December if they’re protected from freezing weather. Try draping a tarp or drop cloth over your plants on nights when temperatures drop.
- Plant lettuce every two weeks. You’ll have an endless supply of lettuce throughout the fall and winter if you continue to plant lettuce every couple weeks.
- Thin seedlings. Seedlings you planted in October will need to be thinned once they’ve sprouted. This will prevent your seedlings from competing with one another, which will enable them to grow strong and healthy.
- Cut back watering. Late November and early December can see some rain in Southern California. Keep your eye on the weather and your watering schedule. Only water as often as necessary to ensure that your garden is productive and efficient.
Related blog: California’s Drought As A New beginning by Eva Knoppel of the Garden of Eva Landscape Design Group. Eva–selected by CBS News’ Latest Best of LA as one of Five Best Landscape Designers In Los Angeles—was voted a winner, for the greater Los Angeles area, of the 2014, 2015 & 2016 Best of Houzz Award in Customer Satisfaction.
Tashman Home Center
As your neighborhood home improvement store, Tashman Home Center, is the place to head to for many of your gardening needs. Tashman Home Center’s Hardware Store is now open every day to better serve you or shop on line at TashmanHomeCenter.com, because we carry it all, from shovels to rakes to hoes to paint brushes, cleaning products and more. We have a knowledgable and friendly staff and we’re always happy to help in any way we can.