While most of
the nation begins to see cooler weather in September, southern California is
often faced with hot, dry Santa Ana winds that make it a challenge to keep a
garden green, hydrated and producing.
Don't Overwater Despite Sagging Leaves:
leaves are common during Santa Ana wind events. The leaves sag during the day
but come back to life in the evening after winds typically calm down. Only
water if the leaves do not bounce back after sundown.
Stake Young Trees To Prevent Damage: Young trees are susceptible to wind
damage if not staked properly. Add two stakes next to the trunk. Allow enough
space between the stakes so the trunk can sway gently in the wind. Use ties
that are flexible. Keep the stakes in place until the roots of the young tree
have had enough time to develop deep into the soil (about two years).
Remove Brush And Cut Tree Limbs: September and October make up the
traditional fire season in southern California (although it seems it is now
year round). Make sure brush is cleared from your property and any tree limbs
touching the house are cut back. Keep landscaping near buildings well watered.
Tomatoes For Fall Crop: Tomato
plants can be planted in September while the ground is warm for a crop by late
October. Spring-planted tomato plants may still be producing in September and
through winter but the crop will dwindle. It is best to select tomato plants at
your local nursery designed for cooler weather and start your tomato garden from
scratch. Look for tomato varieties that have cold weather names such as Glacier
Plant Annual Bulbs: Your local nursery will be getting
shipments of bulbs in September. Add them around the garden now for spring
flowers. Annual bulbs that can be left in the ground and will come back year after
year include amaryllis, calla lily, Dutch iris, freesia and watsonia.
Improve Garden Soil: It is time to rejuvenate garden soil
after the summer growing season. Before adding new vegetables, loosen the soil
and then add a six-inch layer of organic compost. Choose a compost that is
specifically formulated for the soil type.
Harvest Pumpkins Late In The Month: Harvest pumpkins if they have turned a
bright orange, the rind is firm and the vine is brown. Bring indoors and store in
a cool, dark location until it is time for pumpkin carving in October.
Hedges To Encourage Growth: Cut back long straggly stems from hedges. New growth will occur from
within the hedge, which will protect the plant from possible winter frost.
Labels: annual bulbs, fall tomatoes, September gardening tips, Southern California