Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

September, 2009
Regional Report

Fertilize Strawberries

Strawberries with whitish or yellowish leaves need to be fertilized one last time with a high-nitrogen food. After that, fertilizer them with a low-nitrogen, high-phosphorus, and high-potassium fertilizer to help them harden off for the winter.

Self-Seeding Herbs

As some herbs reseed themselves, transplant them for overwintering either into the garden or indoors. Dill, especially, seems to germinate better this way, so take advantage of it.

Indoor Herbs

Quite a few herbs make attractive edible houseplants, including both dark green and dark opal basil, chervil, chives, dill, mint, oregano, parsley (the flat-leaf type is hardier and more flavorful), rosemary, summer savory, sweet marjoram, and thyme. Sow the seeds thickly to guarantee good germination, as plants will grow slowly over the winter, especially with even less direct sun indoors, and consequently less foliage will be available for recipes.

Feed Citrus

Feed citrus for the last time this year, and water trees less as the weather cools and the rains (hopefully) take over. Cupped, wilted, or falling leaves signal moisture stress from hot winds, which can occur even when the soil is damp. Provide lath, shade cloth, or other semi-open material for protection. Pale green new citrus leaves may signal a need for a dose of liquid chelated iron or a solution of fish emulsion and kelp.

Last Rose Pruning, Feeding

This is the last month to prune roses and feed them for their last bloom cycle before going dormant. Hold off on severe pruning until plants are fully dormant in January. Feed plants lightly, and water. Continue to water them only in the mornings to lessen mildew and other wet-foliage-at-sunset-with-warm-evenings disease problems.


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