Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

September, 2010
Regional Report

Still A Good Month To Sow Veggies

Sow beets, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, chervil, chives, collards, endive, garlic, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce (in our hot climate, this is the best time for sowing and transplanting heading types), green onions, short-day bulb onions (like Grano, Granex, and Walla Walla), parsley (the flat-leaf type is more winter-hardy than the curly one), parsnips, peas, white potatoes, radishes, spinach, and turnips. Sow or transplant two or three times the amount you would for spring harvest, as these overwintering crops will grow very slowly, and you'll harvest only a leaf or two a week from each lettuce plant.

Moisture and Bright Light for Good Germination

Keep seedbeds moist and shaded from hot afternoon sun until the seedlings develop two to four true leaves. After transplanting them, mulch the soil lightly, and add more mulch 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.

Sow Now To Eat All Winter

Plants that have developed deep root systems and mature leaves are more tolerant of the cold. When these plants are three or four inches in size before the first hard frost, they're mature enough to be harvested throughout the fall, winter, and early spring. These will bolt at the first real warmth of early spring, though, so they can't be counted on to provide a crop after that. But by then, you'll have made the first spring plantings, so the gap between harvests won't be too long.

Last Rose Feeding

This is the last month to prune roses and feed them for their final 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.

Shrubs With Berries For Cold-Weather Color

Shrubs with colorful berries to plant now for fall and winter accents include abelia, barberry, bottlebrush, forsythia, holly, hydrangea, oleander, pyracantha, quince, and toyon.

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