Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

September, 2010
Regional Report

Reset Automatic Sprinklers

Reset automatic sprinklers to reduce your watering schedule. Shorter days mean that plants don't use as much water. Instead of watering lawns three times a week for 20 minutes, try watering twice a week instead. Make sure that shrubs and trees have adequate water in the form of deep watering to get them through the end of the growing season.

Plant Winter Crops

Plant fall and winter vegetables. Broccoli, lettuce, carrots, kale, cabbage and beets can be planted from seed directly into prepared beds. Protect seedlings from hungry snails and slugs by surrounding them with a ring of diatomaceous earth or fireplace ashes. Replace the barriers daily if the evening dew is heavy.

Plant Onions and Garlic

September is a fine time to plant onions and garlic for June harvest. Plant onions from seed in flats or from small plants (called sets) directly into prepared planting beds. To plant garlic, divide a head into individual cloves and place pointed end up a few inches below the surface. Both onions and garlic prefer rich, sandy soil and full sun.

Plant Citrus

This is the perfect time to plant young citrus trees. If you have ever wondered what the hoopla about Meyer lemons is all about, now is the time to find out. Incorporate plenty of organic compost into the planting hole, watch the planting depth and water young trees twice a week until the weather cools. No fertilizer until you begin to see new growth.

Herbs from Cuttings

Herbs such as basil, marjoram and oregano are going gangbusters right now. If you have more herbs than you can use, share them with friends by either dividing the plants or making cuttings. Basil roots easily in water, as does marjoram and oregano. Rosemary is more difficult to start and should be propagated by tip cuttings. Take several to ensure viability.

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