Continue Planting Cool-Season Vegetables
Sow seeds for peas, beets, carrots, kohlrabi, leeks, onions, parsnips, radishes, turnips, and all salad greens. Sow or transplant bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, and kale.
Broadcast seed in fall to germinate with winter rains. If rains are inadequate, be prepared to keep soil moist through germination until seedlings reach 1 to 2 inches in height. Gradually taper off watering as roots establish. Remember your goal is to mimic nature. Wildflowers don't thrive if overwatered.
Adjust Automatic Timers
As temperatures cool, reduce the frequency of irrigations. Plants don't use as much water in cool weather and overly wet soil promotes root rot. Always apply the same amount of water with each irrigation so that it soaks through the entire root system. It is the frequency of irrigation that changes with the seasons.
Rake up old mulch and dispose of it to prevent the spread of powdery mildew or mites that may overwinter. Apply fertilizer every six weeks until December, unless you choose to use a slow-release product. Add several inches of fresh mulch around the shrub, taking care that it doesn't pile up against the trunk.
Add Flowers for Butterflies
Butterflies like flowers with flat landing pads, where they can stop and sip nectar with their long proboscis. Angelita daisy, chocolate flower, desert marigold, lantana, and Maximillian sunflower (perennial) are well adapted to arid conditions.