What to Do in Your Garden in September. (Checklist: Northern California)

Sunset, September 2002 | Go to article overview

What to Do in Your Garden in September. (Checklist: Northern California)


PLANTING

* ANNUALS. Sunset climate zones 7-9, 14-17: To get cool-season annuals off to a good start, plant after midmonth in cooler areas, at the end of the month in warm inland areas. If the weather is hot, shade new seedlings temporarily. Keep the soil moist. Set out calendula, forget-me-nots, larkspur, Iceland and Shirley poppies, ornamental cabbage and kale, pansies, primrose, snapdragon, stock, sweet peas, toadflax, and violas. In coastal areas, plant cineraria, nemesia, and schizanthus.

* BULBS. Shop soon for the best selection of healthy bulbs; choose firm ones without soft or moldy spots. Plant anemones, crocus, daffodils, Dutch iris, freesias, homeria, hyacinths, ixia, leucojum, lycoris, oxalis, ranunculus, scilla, sparaxis, tritonia, tulips, and watsonia (zones 1-2: some bulbs aren't hardy; choose from what's available in nurseries). In zones 8-9, 14-15, it's not critical to chill bulbs in the refrigerator for six to eight weeks before planting, but performance will be superior (tulip stems will grow one-sixth to one-third taller).

* COOL-SEASON GREENS. Zones 7-9, 14-17: Mesclun mixes, colorful selections of salad greens, are easy to grow at home. Try one of the 11 collections from Renee's Garden that are suitable for fall planting, including Baby Cutting Mix, Italian Misticanza, and Crispy Winter Salad. All are available on nursery seed racks, or order online at www.reneesgarden.com.

* NATIVE PLANTS. Zones 7-9, 14-17: You don't need a big garden to accommodate native plants. Any small bed away from heavily irrigated plants can make an attractive native border. Try bush anemone, Arctostaphylos, blue-eyed grass, fremontodendron, coral bells (Heuchera maxima or H. micrantha), lyme grass, mahonia, monkey flowers, Pacific Coast iris, Penstemon heterophyllus purdyi, Salvia clevelandii, and Western columbine. …

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