What To Do In Your Southern California Garden In October

The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting cooler, so you need to make the most of your gardening time. Remember October is a WONDERFUL time to plant in Southern California, so take advantage of it. Here is a list of some things that you should be doing in your garden now.

The new “cooler” season annuals are starting to become available (bet they just loved our heat wave last week) you can chose from a nice selection for beautiful fall color.

Divide Irises (you only need to divide every 2-4 years) and plant new ones normally I’d say September but… it got really hot near the end and… I forgot to remind you! Take a look at the post How to Care for Iris for more detailed information.

If you are working on a three season or year round garden, it’s a good time to buy and plant fall and winter blooming perennials, shrubs and yes…even trees.

Think about planting California Natives, fall and winter are a great time for our natives if you get them in now they will benefit from any winter water we get.

It’s time to continue planting bulbs – both winter and spring blooming. If you haven’t purchased them yet… get going. Online or in the nursery there are plenty out there waiting for you. Here are two great online resources: Vanveen Bulbs and Brent and Becky's Bulbs.

You should prune your fall flowering vines and shrubs after they have finished blooming.

You can sow your cool season vegetable seeds now, and in the next couple of weeks put in those seedlings that you can find at the nursery.

Fertilizing time for your cacti and succulents – those that are blooming or growing will benefit from a nice fertilization.

Plant groundcover! This is one of the two best months for ground cover in our area. The months of March and October groundcover really take off in. Check your yard and see if you need to fill in anywhere or see if you just want to rip out some thirsty lawn.

Watch for trees with fall color. Over the next two months you will start seeing leaves change, which signals the perfect time for you to select the tree of your dreams. By selecting trees during this time of the year, you will know what color your tree will turn. There is a large range of yellows, oranges, and reds and by selecting now you can find the colors that speak to you. Remember it’s your yard, make it truly your sanctuary.

Keep an eye on the shadows in your landscape. As the days grow shorter the trees and even your house will cast longer deeper shadows, take note so that as you are planning your garden you don’t plant sun lovers in the wrong spot.

Buy Pumpkins! If you haven’t grown yours this year, you need to go shopping. A trip to the pumpkin farm with the kids or even Trader Joe’s can yield some real beauties. They make a great long lasting decoration for your porch, indoors and… don’t forget that pumpkin pie. Anyone have a great recipe? Send it to me and I’ll post it! (With a link to your website of course)

Take a look at your houseplants, I bet they could use a little bit of fertilizer too. Just because your plants are inside, doesn’t mean they don’t need a little bit of TLC. Wash off leaves, with a soft cloth, give them a little spritz from a water bottle – give them much need air circulation and tell them how much you like them! If any of your plants are looking a little peeked, it is still warm enough to put them outside for a bit of time in dappled shade (or deeper if it’s a no sun kinda plant.) They will thank you. Note: please don’t put Ficus benjamina in direct sun – you will BURN their leaves!

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