Maintain Moisture in Garden Soil
Keep soil moist to a depth of 2 to 3 inches until vegetable, flower, and herb seeds sprout. After germination, increase the depth of water penetration to keep up with the growing root zone. As seedlings mature, allow soil to barely dry out between waterings. When the top inch of two of soil is dry, apply water. Water deeply, and as infrequently as possible.
Rake leaves to mix in your compost pile. Leaves are an excellent source of carbon or "brown" matter. If you can't use them all at once, leaves are easily stockpiled in plastic bags for later use. They don't even need to be bagged if you have an out-of-the-way corner or empty bin to hold them.
Continue Transplanting Natives
You can still transplant native and desert-adapted trees, shrubs, perennials, vines, and ground covers. Wait to transplant frost-tender tropicals, such as bougainvillea, citrus, hibiscus, and natal plum until spring.
Check in with the weather report and be prepared to protect frost-tender tropicals, annual flowers and vegetables, cacti native to warmer climates, and citrus trees.
Apply a side-dressing of nitrogen if your garden is new or the soil is not very rich. Fish emulsion is a good organic source, although it can be a bit aromatic. Other organic nitrogen sources include blood meal, coffee grounds, alfalfa meal, cottonseed meal and guano. If using a chemical fertilizer, follow package instructions exactly and water immediately after application to help prevent burn.