Fellow Gardeners,

The information, dates and techniques in this blog are as accurate as I can currently offer. During the past three decades I have cared for, nurtured and observed tens of thousands of plants. With the help of many gardening friends I have attempted to offer on these pages some useful information to help you with your own garden. Gardening is sharing. Any corrections, comments or suggestions are appreciated and will improve future information.


  • (See also Sweet Peas and Wildflowers)
  • This is another great month for putting in cool-season annuals. The soil is still rather warm, but the temperatures are cooling off, making this another perfect planting month.
  • Just a few cool-season annuals to install now include pansy, viola, stock, Iceland poppy, linaria, English daisy, alyssum, calendula, snapdragon, ornamental cabbage and kale, bedding cyclamen, cineraria and primrose.
  • There is still a chance of some warm days and drying Santa Ana winds, so keep newly planted annuals well watered until they are thoroughly rooted.
  • Because of their quick growth and heavy flowering potential, annuals need more fertilizing than most other plants in the garden.
  • Keep deadheading (removing spent flowers) from annuals to help them continue blooming abundantly.


  • Don’t be alarmed by a lot of leaf drop on mature plants. Avocados produce a lot of leaf litter nearly year round. This is a normal condition.
  • Irrigate as needed to keep the soil moist, but not wet.
  • It’s too late to plant an avocado successfully this year. Being sub-tropical plants, avocados prefer to be planted during the long warm part of the year.
  • The fall avocado fruit season is upon us now. Some late season fruiting varieties, like ‘Fuerte’, ’Pinkerton’ and ‘Zutano’ may be ready to harvest. Remember that avocado fruit does not ripen on the tree; it must be removed and should ripen indoors at room temperature.
  • Avocados are done putting on any new growth this year.
  • Do not feed at all this month.
  • Be sure to keep a very thick blanket of mulch, compost or fallen leaves under mature avocadoes at all times. Avocadoes need a cool root-run for good health.

Bearded Iris:

  • Bearded iris are essentially evergreen in our climate. Ignore what most national gardening books may say about them being cut back and going dormant in the winter.
  • You may be able to see the beginnings of new growth slowly pushing out, while last years growth begins to fade away.
  • If you are growing any of the new “repeat-blooming” varieties they may be blooming again. Keep feeding these re-bloomers, but reduce the dose to about half of what you gave them in spring and summer. Older “once-blooming” varieties can have their feeding eliminated for the rest of the year.

Beneficial Insects:

  • Encourage opossums.
  • Many migrating birds are now moving into or through the area. Encourage these by providing cover, berries and water. Birds can be especially helpful in the garden. Many birds, like warblers and bushtits will help control foliage pests and caterpillars. Flycatchers and Phoebe will catch dozens of flying insects every day. Mockingbirds, Robins and Scrub Jays will feed on soil insects like grubs and cutworms.

Bulbs, rhizomes, tubers, etc:

  • (See also Bearded Iris, Dahlias, Cannas and Tuberous Begonias)
  • A few fall blooming bulbs that will still likely be in flower in Orange County include fall blooming crocus, nerine, oxalis hirta, sternbergia and zepheranthes.
  • Buy Hippeastrum bulbs (usually mistakenly called “Amaryllis”) from our outdoor garden store, now while they are in good supply.
  • Bedding cyclamen, although not usually considered along with bulbs, are excellent for planting now as small plants. They will provide continuous blooms from now through March or April of next year.
  • Lift tuberose tubers now. Store them in a cool, dark location in barely moist peat moss or planter mix until re-planting time next May.
  • Plant most spring flowering bulbs now, except for tulips, hyacinth, crocus and some alliums, which are planted next month when the soil is even cooler. Those that are planted now include anemones, Dutch iris, ranunculus, freesia, narcissus, daffodil, muscari, iphieon, babiana and chasmanthe. Certain, but not all, varieties of the following bulbs are also planted now: lilies, gladiolus, hippeastrum and amaryllis.

California Native Plants:

  • Plant now through February. Many California natives go into a summer dormant or slow-down period (an adaptation to our dry summers). To establish these plants they should be planted in the fall or early winter, at the onset of cool weather and rains.
  • Cut back and divide Matilija Poppies, if necessary.


  • Most Sasanqua camellias are beginning their full bloom period now. Feed Sasanqua varieties after their bloom cycle has finished.
  • Japanese Camellias are done with their “growth” cycle for this year. They have now set their flower buds for next spring. Most all of the plants energy for the remainder of the year is going toward next years flowers. No need to apply any general fertilizer to camellias until after their blooms have finished next year.

Cane Berries:

  • This is the first month in which pruning cane berries can be accomplished. These include blackberries, boysenberries, loganberry and some raspberries (see the exception below). Cut the canes that bore fruit earlier this year all the way to the ground. Do not prune the new canes that sprouted from the soil this spring; they will produce next season crop.
  • The new low-chill, subtropical raspberries (including the popular “Bababerry”) should be pruned next month.


  • It would not be unusual for your cannas to still have a few flowers. Enjoy them. Cannas are one of the longest blooming plants in a garden.


  • Many tangerines (also called mandarins) will be ready for harvest this month. Check the flavor of one or two first. If the sugar level is high, pick some more. If not, wait a bit longer.
  • Citrus may already have a few yellow leaves, especially in inland gardens. Don’t worry, they are warm weather plants and suffer a bit during the next few months of cool temperatures.
  • Only feed potted citrus. Give them a very light application to keep the plants a bit greener into the fall months.
  • Be careful with irrigations now. Warm, dry weather may require an irrigation; otherwise the cooler temperatures at this time of year suggest careful irrigations.


  • Many clematis offer a heavy second bloom spike during the late summer or early fall. Yours may be finishing this second bloom cycle now.
  • The foliage of your plants may look a bit ragged and be showing some dryness at their bases. The canes are also often tangled at this late date in the year. Resist the temptation to prune now. Wait until about January for most varieties.
  • No need to apply any more fertilizer this year.
  • Reduce irrigations significantly or even completely to help the plants enter into at least a brief dormant period.

Dahlias (tuberous types):

  • Dahlias should now be allowed to go to sleep for the winter. Withhold all fertilizing and back way off on the watering.
  • Along the immediate coast, they may be reluctant to go dormant. Force the issue by withholding all irrigations now.
  • Don’t worry about any powdery mildew at this late date in the season.

Deciduous Fruit Trees:

  • Watering can be reduced now. Continue monitoring the soil moisture, but the trees are using less water this time of the year. Mature trees very likely will not need any irrigations.
  • Most varieties will begin showing a lot of yellow or drying leaves by now. Leaf drop will be most noticeable after a rain shower or a windy period. By the end of the month, depending upon the weather, trees may have no leaves left or still a moderate amount.
  • Some late producing apple and pear varieties will still have some fruit on the branches.
  • On about Thanksgiving Day should be your first of three applications of a dormant disease control. This is a liquid spray product containing either Copper Sulfate or Lime-sulfur (do not use Lime-sulfur on Apricots). Both of these are organic products. Applying these products should be an annual chore, repeated every year to avoid infestations of such diseases as Peach Leaf Curl, Shothole Fungus, Apple Scab, Brown Rot, and many others.


  • Reduce irrigations, but be alert to unseasonably hot, dry or windy weather.
  • Other than potted plants, which can continue to be fertilized at half strength, there is no need to fertilize again until next year.
  • Although perhaps tempting, don’t do any extensive cutting back, transplanting or dividing. Most ferns enjoy warm weather and these tasks are better performed at the beginning of their growth period next year.


  • (See also the information under the individual plants)


  • Do not fertilize this month.
  • If you are in a coastal garden with very little frost this is the time to cut your fuchsias back. Fuchsias bloom on their new growth tips, therefore pruning is critical to a well-shaped plant and lots of blooms. Generally, fuchsias are cut back about ½ to 2/3 of their size. Gardeners in cooler inland locations will wait until mid-February to perform their annual cut-back.
  • If re-potting is needed the best time to do this is at the same time as the annual cut-back.


  • These are getting ready to withdraw a bit through the winter months. Don’t be surprised if there are several yellow leaves developing. This is quite normal.
  • Gardenias do not like hot dry winds. If these occur, do what you can to shield the plant. A light misting and syringe of the leaves also helps.


  • This group includes Ivy geraniums, zonal geraniums (also called “Common” geraniums), Martha geraniums and the various scented geraniums, but does not include true geraniums (sometimes called “Hardy” geraniums), which are discussed under Perennials.
  • Ivy and Zonal types will usually continue to bloom throughout the fall and winter. Periodically remove spent flowers to encourage more bloom.
  • Continue fertilizing, except most scented types, with a balanced fertilizer. The dosage however, can be reduced by half through the next several cool months.
  • Continue a progressive pruning back of Martha types now. Don’t cut them all at once. One third of the plants should have been pruned back last month. Prune back the second third this month.


  • Do not fertilize any more until next year.
  • Many varieties (especially one called ‘Fantasy’) can offer terrific fall color to the garden. This may be more noticeable in colder inland gardens.
  • Reduce or eliminate irrigations, especially along the coast, to help the vines enter into their winter dormant period.
  • Powdery mildew may be on the foliage now. However, treatment this late in the season is rarely of any value.
  • On about Thanksgiving Day should be your first application of dormant disease control (assuming the foliage has dropped). This should be a Copper Sulfate product. This is an organic product. Applying these products should be an annual chore, repeated every year to some very common fungal diseases. The timing of this application is the most important of them all. Apply these at the “pink-bud-stage”. This is the point in which the buds have swollen and may even be “pink”, but have not yet opened.


  • Cool season groundcovers are growing and blooming well. Common examples of these are African Daisy (Osteospermum) and South African Daisy (Gazania). If you didn’t do it last month, feed these varieties now. A granular fertilizer works especially well for groundcovers, particularly on slopes.
  • If you didn’t do it last month and want to do a heavy cutting-back of your cool-season groundcover, do it soon. This will reduce the thatch and renew their vigor. Fertilize after the cut-back, to insure a quick recovery.
  • Warm-season groundcovers are settling down for the winter now. No fertilizing, minimal irrigations and no pruning at this time of the year.
  • California native groundcover plants, like Ceanothus and Arctostaphyllos (Manzanita) are also beginning to grow nicely now. This is also a good month to plant these natives


  • This is still a perfect time to plant many cool-season and other herbs.
  • Cool-season and some other herbs that can be fall-planted include anise, arugula, borage, chervil, chives, cilantro, comfrey, dill, fennel, feverfew, garlic chives, lavender, lemon grass, lovage, parsley, rosemary, salad burnet, sorrel, tansy.
  • Basil (except African Blue Basil) is done for this year. Give up the struggle to keep it going.


  • Contrary to some references, do not prune hydrangeas this late in the year. Hydrangeas bloom on one-year-old stems. Pruning now will eliminate most of next year’s flowers.
  • If you want to try to get blue or lavender flowers on your otherwise pink plant you can start applying Aluminum Sulfate to the soil now. White flowered varieties will not be effected and not all pinks will be effected the same.

Ornamental Grasses:

  • Many grasses have now developed seed heads. These seed heads can be quite ornamental and are one of the most ornamental aspects of these plants. These flowers can be especially attractive in the low, soft, fall light, especially in the evening and early morning.
  • The foliage of many species of grasses are beginning to dry back quite a bit now. This drying foliage, especially when combined with the seed heads waving overhead, are an important part of many garden designs at this time of year. Do not cut these drying grasses back until you have completely enjoyed the “fall” show.
  • A few grasses may want to re-seed either in your garden or even into an adjacent wild area. If this as an issue, prune these seed heads off before the heads are fully ripe to prevent the seeds from dispersing.
  • The dry flowers of some of these grasses can be used in fall arrangements. Consider these as a “fall” version of a spring flower bouquet.


  • (See also Bearded Iris, Bulbs/Rhizomes/Tubers, Cannas, Dahlias, Fuchsias, Geraniums, Ornamental Grasses and Tuberous Begonias)
  • Like October, this is one of the most important months in a perennial garden.
  • This is still a big fall planting month for perennials. Plant right away and these plants will establish themselves all fall and winter, for a great spring bloom. As you shop for these plants, they will not be coming into bloom, but going out of bloom. Experienced gardeners know not to worry about this and they install most of their perennials and shrubs over the next couple of months.
  • This is a great month to plant most perennials. The only exceptions are a couple of frost tender sub-tropicals like pentas and scaevola.
  • Your perennials will not need much, if any, fertilizing during these cool months. Exceptions might be a few container plants and the cool-season perennials mentions below.
  • Like October, this is a great month to review your perennials for potential replacements or upgrades. Many perennials are short-term plants and loose either their vigor or form quickly and should be re-planted now. These include (with an approximate useful lifespan) columbine (2-3 years), delphinium (1-2 years), euryops daisy (2-3 years), felicia daisy (2-3 years), foxglove (1-2 years), lavender (3-5 years), marguerite daisy (2-3 years), nemesia (1 year), oriental poppy (1-3 years), pelargonium (2-3 years), penstemon (3 years), phygelius (3-5 years), scabiosa (2-3 years) and verbena (varies).
  • Several perennials are now slowing down or going to sleep for cool months ahead. These varieties can be cut back pretty hard right now to help the garden look tidier. These include achillea (yarrow), aster (perennial types, if they have finished blooming), baby’s breath (gypsophila), most campanula, columbine (aquilegia), coral bells (heuchera), coreopsis, daylily (hemerocallis), dianthus (perennial types including carnation), gaillardia, most geranium (true geranium), goldenrod (solidago), Japanese anemone (when they finish blooming), lamb’s ears (stachys), lions tail (leonotis), matilija poppy (rhomneya), monkshood (aconitum), oregano (ornamental types), oriental poppy, penstemon, phlomis, phygelius, rudbeckia, Russian sage (perovskia), most salvia (sage), scabiosa (pincushion flower), shasta daisy, stokesia (stokes aster), valerian (centranthus), verbena (perennial types), and veronica (perennial types).
  • Some other perennials don’t like a hard cutting-back, at least not now, and should only be trimmed lightly to shape them and to remove any old or dead growth. These include agastache, gaura, lamium, lavender (lavandula), nemesia (perennial types), oriental poppy, pelargonium (ivy’s, zonal’s and martha’s), penstemon and thyme.
  • Some perennials completely disappear from sight during the cool winter months ahead and then reappear in spring. Don’t cut these back until the foliage is nearly completely dehydrated, then you can cut the tops off completely near soil level. Be sure to mark where these are in the garden so as not to accidentally damage them when cultivating or digging in the area. Some of these completely herbaceous perennials include asclepias – some varieties (butterfly weed), bleeding heart (dicentra spectabilis), caladium, calla (colored types), coneflower (Echinacea), dahlia (tuberous perennial types), chocolate cosmos, kniphofia (red hot poker), liatris, true lilies (lilium), monkshood (aconitum), obedient plant (physostegia) and thalictrum (meadow rue).
  • A few perennials are cool-season plants in our climate and are now beginning to bloom and grow actively. If youo didn’t do it last month prune and shape these a bit now. Feed them a bit and they’ll be even better. These include alstroemeria (except in cold inland gardens), armeria, euryops daisy, forget-me-not (myosotis), hellebore, marguerite daisy and viola (perennial types).
  • A few perennials are sub-tropical and frost tender. These should not be trimmed now or winter damage may occur. Wait until early spring to prune these: begonias, heliotrope, impatiens, lamium, pentas (starflower) and plectranthus.
  • Some perennials don’t need any annual cutting back at all. Just groom these a bit now by removing any dead leaves, dead stems, old foliage, etc. and let them keep going. These include armeria, oriental poppy and statice (limonium).
  • Removing spent or old flowers regularly, especially from cool-season plants, will help them to produce more flowers.
  • Some perennials are actually biennials (or at least behave as such in our climate). For loads of spring flowers set out transplants quickly and with some luck you may still get spring flowers. These include Canterbury bells (Campanula medium), hollyhock (Alcea), Queen Anne’s lace (Ammi majus), most foxglove (Digitalis) and most delphiniums. Don’t wait until next spring, which beginners do. These must be fall planted to insure spring blooms and this is your last chance.
  • Cool season weeds are germinating and growing quickly. Control them quickly.

Pests & Diseases:

  • (See also the information under the individual plants and Beneficial Insects)
  • Ants can be particularly troublesome this time of year.

Places to Visit:

  • Gardens that look terrific almost any time of the year include Sherman Library and Gardens (Corona del Mar), The Fullerton Arboretum (Fullerton), Los Angeles Arboretum (Arcadia), Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens (San Marino) and Quail Botanical Gardens (Encinitas).


  • (See also the information under the individual plants)


  • If you are attempting to “color” your poinsettia for Christmas keep up the regimen of fourteen hours of complete darkness per day, five to six hours of direct light, indirect light and high phosphorus fertilizer.
  • If outdoors, protect the plant from high winds to avoid breaking the stems.
  • No need to fertilize any more this year.

Records, Catalogs, Books and Organizations:

  • It’s time to search for a new gardening wall calendar. The L.A. Times Garden Calendar by Robert Smaus is one of the most beautiful and informative.
  • This is the time to drop gentle hints about what kind of a garden gift you might like this Christmas. Easy ones are a subscription to a gardening magazine, a favorite gardening book, or a gift certificate to our plant nursery or mail order catalog. For the more practical gardener ideas could be new pruning shears, a nice pair of goatskin gloves, a redwood potting table, a fancy garden composter or a quality English digging spade.
  • Keep making notes in your journal, especially about what you planted, cut, divided, pruned, fertilized, sprayed and enjoyed last month and this, during the busy fall gardening season.


  • Many roses are still blooming very well this time of the year in southern California, especially if you did a “summer pruning” in early August.
  • After the last big bloom of the season consider leaving the faded flowers on the plant rather than cutting them off as you normally would. They will often very set attractive seed heads, called “rose hips”, especially old-fashioned varieties. These hips can be quite colorful and are an attractive addition to the fall garden.
  • Powdery mildew may begin appearing again on some varieties. If practical, remove infested leaves by hand. If the infestation is minor it may be best to let it go at this time of year.
  • Feed either at half strength or not at all. Also reduce irrigations as much as possible. Allow the plants to slow down and “harden-off” before the annual pruning in January.


  • (See also the information under Azaleas, Camellias, Gardenias, Hydrangeas and others)
  • Be cautious when pruning hedges. A hard pruning at this time of the year on many varieties will leave the plant scarred for most of the winter.
  • Plant a few plants with interesting fall effects in the garden. Plants with abundant, colorful berries or fruit now include cotoneaster, heavenly bamboo, hollies, persimmon, pomegranate, pyracantha and toyon.

Soil Care:

  • We have included this section, because as you know, or will discover with more experience, a good garden begins with the soil. Investing in the soil, managing the soil and protecting the soil are not afterthoughts in a successful garden, but the foundation. Healthy soil is living and breathing, teaming with earthworms, microorganisms, beneficial fungi, bacteria, microbes and other invisible life. This section, possibly the most important topic of all will, provides some helpful guidance to good soil care.
  • A thick layer of organic mulch, averaging about two inches, should be maintained on top of the soil just about year-round. Add additional mulch as needed to maintain this level. This is a great month to apply this mulch.
  • Applied now, a thick layer of mulch will moderate the soil temperatures, reduce weed germination, and significantly improve both soil life and soil quality.
  • If you have been considering inoculating your soil with beneficial mycorrhizae, this is a good month of the year to do so. The soil temperatures are just right for quick establishment. Inoculation can be done quickly and easily in established areas by using mycorrhizae “tablets”. In moist soil, poke a hole near the plant with a ½” or ¾” rod or stick. Drop a tablet into the hole and push it in again with the stick.
  • We do not suggest the use of very high analysis fertilizers in a garden, especially phosphorus. Examples of fertilizers to avoid are synthetic versions with formulations like, 10-55-10, 10-30-10, etc. We don’t even suggest the popular 15-30-15 formula. These formulations will inhibit or even destroy much of the soil life that is so vital to a healthy sustainable soil.
  • We also suggest that you not use soil-applied systemic fertilizer/insecticide combinations (especially popular with roses). These are very damaging to soil life.
  • Use insecticides only when necessary and even then use the least damaging product available. Many of these products move into the soil and interfere with the invisible soil life.
  • If you can, begin a compost pile or purchase a compost bin. Home compost is one of the very best ingredients you can add to your soil. Home compost helps significantly in disease suppression, increases beneficial microorganisms, improves soil structure and texture, aids nutrient retention and helps with nematode suppression. There are lots of fallen leaves from deciduous trees and these are excellent additions to a compost bin.
  • Since this is a big planting month, be sure that before you put a plant into the ground you have considered the soil and are doing all you can to improve it and protect its health.


  • This is the absolute best month for planting strawberries (if you can find them). This early you can start from six-pacs.
  • If you can find bare-root plants these are great. If you find them, wrap them in a couple of moist paper towels and put them into the refrigerator for three to four weeks. Then plant them right away.
  • Pinch out the first two or three sets of flowers that your young plants will produce to encourage better root develop and a stronger overall plant.

Subtropical Fruits:

  • (See also the information under Avocados, and Citrus)
  • Some of these will still be blooming and looking good, although others will be declining.
  • The temperatures are beginning to drop and the days are getting shorter, so it is time to stop fertilizing completely. Let these plants harden off before late fall and winter. Eliminating fertilizer and cutting back on water helps the plants get ready for the months ahead.
  • It is definitely too late to plant for this year. Although “fall is for planting” in southern California, these plants are an exception. Wait until late spring or early summer of next year.
  • Except for the ‘Beaumont’ variety, keep checking for fallen Macadamia nuts. Pick them off the ground weekly, which may continue for up to three months. The ‘Beaumont’ variety will be picked directly off the tree in March.

Sweet Peas:

  • Seeds are in good supply now. This is an especially good time to plant seeds of all varieties. Be sure to mix in a few of the early-blooming (also called “short-day”) varieties will bloom earlier than the others. These early varieties include ‘Winter Elegance’ (our favorite) and ‘Early Multiflora’.


  • (See also the information under Avocados, Citrus, Deciduous Fruit Trees and Subtropical Fruits)
  • Late this month is a good time to prune most trees (except for tender sub-tropical trees like Ficus, Coral Tree, Avocado, Citrus, etc.). Few birds are nesting in trees at this season, the sap flow is reduced and the pruning will help strong Santa Ana winds pass through the canopy of the tree with little damage.
  • Certain deciduous trees are now showing their fall colors. If you are shopping for this sort of a tree this is a good time to purchase or at least make some notes on the verities that you like. Trees with excellent fall color in our climate include hybrid Liquidambars, Maidenhair Tree (Ginkgo), Modesto Ash (Fraxinus), Chinese Pistache (Pistachia),
  • This is an especially good time to prune coniferous trees like pines and cypress, since their pests, various bark beetles, are not active this time of the year.
  • Stake, or re-stake, small and newly planted trees now to prevent wind damage in the next few months.

Tropicals & Subtropicals:

  • (See also the information under Avocados, Citrus and Subtropical Fruits)
  • Some of these will still be blooming and looking good, although others will be declining. It is not unusual for many of these to have a big fall flower burst now. Look for lots of color now on plumerias, hibiscus, bougainvillea and ginger.
  • The temperatures are beginning to drop and the days are getting shorter, so it is time to stop fertilizing completely. Let these plants harden off now, before winter. Reducing water also helps these plants get ready for the cool months ahead.
  • It is definitely too late to plant tropicals this year. Although “fall is for planting”, these are the exceptions. Wait until late spring or early summer of next year.

Tuberous Begonias:

  • Plants are done for the year. They may want to keep growing, especially if the weather has been mild; but if you want to grow the same tubers again next year, don’t let them.
  • If you were drying the plants off over the past month they will look pretty sad now. Gently lift the entire plant out of the soil, tuber and all. Lay it in a sunny spot to dry off for a couple of days. After the soil is thoroughly dry remove the stem (it should almost fall off) and pull off most of the roots as well.
  • Store the tubers, not touching, in an open box with dry peat moss, perlite or sawdust. Place the box in a cool, dark location until it’s time to sprout them again, next March.


  • This is another perfect month for cool-season vegetable planting. Definitely give up on warm-season plants that are hanging on and give this valuable space to the array of cool-season vegetables available now.
  • This is still a good time to plant garlic, onions, shallots and leeks from sets (little bulbs). For larger bulbs and cloves, get garlic and bulbing onions in the ground no later than the middle of the month.
  • Plant transplants or seeds of arugula, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, collards, endive, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mesclun mix, mustard, onions, parsley, peas and spinach. From seed plant beets, carrots, favas, parsnips, radishes, rutabaga and turnips.
  • Beets, carrots, chard, radish and possibly turnips can be planted just about year-round. All but chard are planted from seed only.
  • Putting in successive plantings of many vegetables a couple of weeks apart from each other will insure a constant, uninterrupted supply for the kitchen.
  • Cole crops like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. are often attacked by caterpillars at this time. If only a few plants, hand picking may be enough. Otherwise use BT, an safe, effective and organic solution.
  • Horseradish root, if harvested now, will have its best flavor.
  • Mound any potatoes that you planted last month.
  • Weeds are sprouting prolifically now. Keep them under control.
  • During warm spells or drying Santa Ana winds keep the garden well watered.
  • Since most annual vegetables are shallow rooted and quick growing, feed them regularly with a well balanced organic fertilizer.
  • Harvest jicama?

Water & Irrigation:

  • (See also the information under the individual plants)


  • This may be the best month to broadcast wildflower seeds. Spread them just before a rainy period, mixed with a couple of cups of clean, coarse sand. If possible, check the weather forecasts and wait for an approaching storm that will last for several days. Broadcast the seeds just before the rains begin. Be sure that the area is well prepared prior to broadcasting the seeds. After spreading the seeds, rake the area lightly.
  • Weeds will easily overwhelm a wildflower garden if not kept under control. Within a couple of weeks of the wildflowers (and the weeds) sprouting, start weeding. Pull or hoe them early and regularly to keep them under control.


  • No need to do any pruning now. You’ll make your final pruning of the year next month.
  • The foliage of wisterias will be looking a bit dry and even showing some tip burn. No need to worry, this normal for right now.
  • Watering needs are minimal now and there is no need to fertilize.
  • If you garden in a cool, inland location your plant may show a bit of golden-yellow autumn color before it begins to drop its foliage next month.