Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

September, 2012
Regional Report

Transplant While Soil is Warm

Transplant perennials, ground covers, shrubs, and vines while the soil and air temperatures are still warm to give them a head start in root development over those planted in the spring. Set them out in the cooler late afternoons or evenings, and water them in with a mild solution of a balanced fertilizer to promote new root growth and reduce transplant shock. Mulch and shade them lightly for the first week. Add more mulch in October and November for additional frost protection.

Root Cuttings for Plants to Share

Root the cuttings of semi-woody plants, including fuchsias, geraniums, hydrangeas, ivies, and marguerite daisies. Remove all but the top four leaves, and bury at least two nodes (but preferably four or five) on the stem in damp sand or a peat moss-and-perlite mix. They should be ready to transplant into the garden or containers in two months.

Prune and Feed Roses

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.

Plant Trees

Plant new trees while the soil is still warm to encourage the roots to get established before going dormant for the winter. Trim off deadwood and watersprouts (quickly-growing upright shoots), but leave major pruning for January, when the trees are dormant.

Last Citrus Feeding

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 sun protection that still allows good air circulation. Pale green new citrus leaves may need a dose of liquid chelated iron or a solution of fish emulsion and kelp.

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