Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

September, 2006
Regional Report

Sow Extra Lettuce Seeds

Sow or transplant two or three times the amount you would for spring harvest, as overwintering crops will grow very slowly, and you'll harvest only a leaf or two a week from each lettuce plant.

Sow Edible Cover Crops

When sowing cover crops for the fall and winter, consider edible ones. Kale and rocket (roquette, arugula) are full-flavored leafy vegetables that withstand freezing. Both germinate in cool weather and are welcome fresh greens for stir-fries and soups all winter long. In spring, they can be easily turned under as "green manure" when preparing the soil for the main spring and summer crops.

Plant for Spring Color

Sow or transplant ageratum, alyssum, asters, astilbe, baby blue eyes, baby's breath, bachelor's buttons, begonias, black-eyed-susans, calendulas, campanulas, candytuft, carnations, coneflowers, dianthus, chrysanthemums, clarkias, columbines, coralbells, coreopsis, Shasta daisies, English daisies, delphiniums, forget-me-nots, foxgloves, gaillardias, gerberas, geums, hollyhocks, impatiens, larkspur, lobelia, nemesia, nigella, pansies, penstemon, phlox, Iceland and Oriental and California poppies, primroses, salvias, silver dollar plant, snapdragons, statice, stocks, sweet peas, verbena, and violas.

Water and Shade Seedbeds

Keep seedbeds moist and shaded from hot afternoon sun until the seedlings develop two to four true leaves. After transplanting, mulch the soil lightly and add more in October and November for additional frost protection. Keep the mulch an inch away from the plant stems, however, for good air circulation and less potential for disease problems.

Transplant Perennials and Shrubs

Transplant perennials, ground covers, shrubs, and vines while the soil and air temperatures are still warm to give them a full season's root development over those planted in the spring. Set them out in the cooler late afternoons or evenings, and water them in with a mild solution of a balanced fertilizer to promote new root growth and reduce transplant shock. Mulch and shade them lightly for the first week. Add more mulch in October and November for additional frost protection.


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