Can You Leave Pulled Up Weeds In Your Flower Beds New Planting Season Begins in September

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New Planting Season Begins in September

The summer gardening season is almost over in Southern California, so it’s time to start planting cool-weather vegetables and flowers that don’t mind the cooler temperatures.

Out with the old, in with the new: Most of the summer vegetable plants are gone. It’s time to weed out those that are no longer producing and add new vegetables that do well in cooler weather. These vegetables include peas, beans, kale, leeks, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, radishes, carrots, celery, and winter squash. If planted now, vegetables will be ready in late winter or early spring.

Plant autumn flowers: Septembers in Southern California are usually warm during the day and cool at night. This temperate climate makes it ideal for planting a variety of flowers for fall and winter blooms. These include pansies, marigolds, foxgloves, marigolds, sweet alyssum, chrysanthemums, sweet peas, snapdragons and asters. If planting from seed, keep the seeded area moist and in the shade until the seedlings are at least a few inches tall. This will protect sensitive plants from the warm rays of the sun.

Soil preparation for flower beds: If you have an ambitious gardening plan for the fall and winter, now is the time to revive your flower beds. After removing tired vegetables and annual flowers, loosen the soil and mix in three to four inches of compost. Compost will add nutrients to the soil that will give your new plants what they need to grow. If planting in a new area, water the area deeply, remove weeds, break up the soil and add compost.

Choose your bulbs: In September, you’ll find two main types of spring-blooming bulbs at your local nursery or nursery: tulips and hyacinths. Both should be chilled for six weeks before planting. Place the bulbs in paper bags in the refrigerator and plant them in early November. For best results, choose the largest, firmest and freshest bulbs.

Trimming hedges and shrubs: After a summer growth spurt, many hedges and shrubs have lost their shape and are sprouting long, rambling stems. Prune and reshape now as this will encourage new growth before winter. Well-trimmed hedges and shrubs retain heat and protect plants if frost occurs in winter.

Lawn Decisions: Many homeowners have given up watering their lawns to save on their water bills. Now is a good time to decide whether to reduce the amount of lawn in your yard (some homeowner associations require homeowners to maintain a certain amount of lawn). Much of the lawn (especially around the edges) can be replaced with a drought tolerant mulch. Ground cover types that do well with little water include dymondia, yarrow, sedums, lantana, verbenas and even thyme.

Santa Ana Wind Watch: Watch out for Santa Ana winds that lower humidity and suck water out of the soil. When these winds occur, keep new plants well hydrated.

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