In the Garden:
Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
Japanese anemones will take over the garden if you don't divide them every several years and give them to friends!
Fall is for Seeding!
Our mild winters make seed-starting in fall the great bonus for overwintering food and flowers.
Sow fava beans, celery, chard, chives, garlic, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce (especially romaine types and small-heading bibb and buttercrunch types, which overwinter well with minimal damage from light frosts), green and long-day bulb onions (which will mature during the lengthening days of next spring and early summer), parsley, peas, radishes, spinaches (especially savoy types for more frost resistance), and shallots. Sowing bulb onion seed now will result in larger bulbs that will be less apt to bolt in early spring than store-bought sets, which are often stored improperly (mostly too warm for too long) while on display. Also transplant artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, established herbs (especially comfrey, sage, thyme), and rhubarb. All these will mature before the first hard frost and can be overwintered with only minor damage to varieties with more delicate foliage.
Sow or transplant ageratum, alyssum, bachelor's buttons (cornflower), calendulas, campanulas (canterbury bells), candytufts (iberis), chrysanthemums, clarkias (godetia), columbines (aquilegia), coralbells (heuchera), coreopsis (pot of gold), African daisies (arctotis, gazania), delphiniums, dianthus (carnation, pinks, sweet William), forget-me-nots (myosotis), four-o-clocks, foxgloves, gaillardias, hollyhocks, larkspur, linarias, love-in-a-mist (nigella, Persian jewel), lunaria (honesty, money plant, silver dollar plant), blue marguerites (felicia), nierembergias (cup flower), ornamental cabbage and kale, phloxes, California and Iceland and Oriental and Shirley poppies, primroses, rudbeckias (coneflower, gloriosa daisy, echinacea, monarch daisy, black-eyed-Susan), snapdragons, stocks, stokesia, sweet peas, verbenas, violas (Johnny-jump-ups, pansies, violets), and wildflowers.
All these will develop stronger plants and bloom earlier and more profusely in the spring when they've been sown now since they'll grow extensive root systems over the winter.
Divide and Transplant
This month's weather makes heavy work almost enjoyable. Most perennials and some annuals can be transplanted or divided and replanted. These include acanthus, agapanthus, Japanese anemone, astilbe, bergenia, bleeding hearts (dicentra), calendulas, evergreen candytuft, columbine, coralbells (huechera), coreopsis, michaelmas and Shasta daisies, daylilies, delphiniums, dianthus (carnation, pinks, sweet William), dusty miller, foxgloves, heliopsis, helleborus (Christmas rose, Lenten rose), hollyhocks, bearded irises, peonies, phlox, Oriental poppies, primroses, rudbeckias (gloriosa daisy, coneflower, echinacea, monarch daisy, black-eyed-Susan), statice, stock, stokesia, veronica, and yarrow.
Use a spade or sharp knife to separate the large clumps, or gently pull apart individual plants after loosening the clump from its surrounding soil. Discard the old, unproductive sections. Trim the foliage of young growth to four or six inches. Dig in compost, replant, and water in well.
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