Califonia Bountiful

Gardening to-do list for September/October

Sept./Oct. 2012 California Bountiful magazine

The days may be shorter, but your gardening to-do list isn't! Here are some tips for keeping home and garden happy and productive for months to come.


  • Plant California native bulbs: ornamental onion (Allium unifolium), globe lily (Calochortus albus) and mission bells (Fritillaria biflora).
  • Sow seeds of poppies, clarkia and lupine.
  • Dig, divide and replant overgrown perennials as they finish blooming.
  • Now is the best time to sow a new lawn or reseed bare spots.
  • Watch for snails. Handpick.
  • Add compost to vegetable garden.
  • Plant onions and garlic before frost.
  • Begin planting cool season annuals like ornamental cabbage, kale, pansy, primrose and sweet peas.
  • Plant cool season vegetables like broccoli, chard, cauliflower, lettuce and spinach.


  • Apply chelated iron to azaleas, gardenias and camellias if leaves are yellow.
  • Clean up the summer garden and compost the remains.
  • In high-elevation areas, dig up gladiolus, dahlias and begonias after the foliage dies. Store in a cool, dark, dry place for the winter.
  • Keep trimming roses.
  • Give houseplants a rest. Withhold fertilizer until spring. If plants have been outside, hose them off before bringing indoors for the winter.
  • To protect citrus from brown rot, keep leaves and fallen fruit picked up. Prune lower branches to 24 inches above ground. This prevents fungus spores from splashing up from the ground.
  • Plant daffodils over a three- to four-week period for a long blooming season next spring.

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