Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

September, 2001
Regional Report

Sow Sweet Peas

For a fall crop of very fragrant sweet peas, plant old-fashioned varieties such as \'Antique Fantasy\' and \'Painted Lady\', or newer fragrant varieties such as \'Leamington\', \'Rosy Frills\', \'Royal Wedding\', and \'Snoopea\'. Plant in well-drained soil in full sun.

Sow Herbs

While enjoying herbs from the outdoors garden, remember that many herbs also make good houseplants for winter use. Sow seeds of opal basil, chervil, chive, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, summer savory, sweet marjoram, and thyme. Sow seeds thickly since the plants grow slowly through winter.

Feed Citrus

Feed citrus for the last time this year and water trees less as the weather cools and the rains come more often. Cupped, wilted, or falling leaves signal moisture stress from hot winds, even when the soil is damp. Pale green new citrus leaves may indicate your plants need a dose of liquid chelated iron or fish emulsion and kelp.

Feed Strawberries

Strawberries with white or yellow leaves need to be fertilized one last time with a high nitrogen food to help green up the leaves. This fall fertilize with a low-nitrogen, high phosphorus, and high potassium fertilizer to help them harden off for winter.

Grow Dried Flowers

Start seeds now to grow flowers for drying and making arrangements. The easiest to grow and dry are baby\'s breath, bachelor\'s button, lavender, scabiosa, statice, strawflower, and yarrow. All of these are best air-dried. Tie a few stems into a loose bunch, and hang it up, flower heads down, in a cool, dark, dry place for several weeks.


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