10 Things to Do in the Garden in September

Our planting and maintenance guide for the greater San Diego area in September, plus where to find inspiration
september gardening garden guide crocosmia

This month, try drought-resistant bulbs like crocosmia.

September’s Southern California Garden Guide

1. Clear fire fuels like dried grasses, overgrown shrubs and broken branches as Santa Ana winds often hit yearly highs in September.

2. Prepare veggie gardens for cool-season crops by removing spent warm-season plants and boosting the soil with compost and slow-release fertilizer high in phosphorus.

3. Disbud camellias to encourage larger blooms. Twist off buds so that one or two, preferably facing outward, are left at the tip of each stem. Be certain one of those left behind is the pointed growth bud; the others tend to be round.

4. Pick fruits and vegetables as they ripen to enjoy them at peak flavor, keep the plants producing and discourage foraging wildlife.

5. Chill bulbs in the refrigerator for six to eight weeks prior to planting later in the year.

6. Prune stone-fruit trees once crops are harvested to thin canopies and keep trees short so fruit is within easy reach.

7. Buy seeds for California poppies and other native wildflowers. Store them to sow when winter rains are forecast.

8. Protect seedlings for fall vegetables and annual flowers by placing them under shade cloth or in dappled shade. Keep them evenly moist during Santa Ana winds.

9. Add aluminum sulfate to the soil around hydrangeas for blue flowers in the spring.

10. Visit the nursery for bulbs. Try drought-resistant baboon flower, African corn lily, watsonia, crocosmia and harlequin bulbs.

What’s Inspiring Me Right Now

I’m watching… Project Diaries on YouTube for the step-by-step guides on everything from black-spot removal for your roses to avocado-seed starting. These videos offer a wealth of knowledge in plain language—good for newish gardeners like me.

I’m following… @holhage because, photo after photo, video after video, this Insta feed has some of my favorite garden inspiration. Based in Sweden, @holhage is high-definition garden perfection, and a must follow. 

I’m reading… Fruit Trees for Every Garden An Organic Approach to Growing Apples, Pears, Peaches, Plums, Citrus, and More by Orin Martin and Manjula Martin (published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House, LLC). As a beginner fruit-tree enthusiast, I can use all the help I can get. This book is “more than just a gardening manual; it’s designed to help you understand the why behind the how allowing you to apply these techniques to your own slice of paradise and make the best choices for your individual trees.”  

I’m frequenting… M&J Nursery, one of my favorite gems in Fallbrook. They have expertise in all things having to do with succulents and will help you pick your plants based on your property’s location, soil and sun exposure. Plus, the grounds are absolutely gorgeous.


Categories: Garden Planner, Garden Planner Current Month