ALL OUTDOOR PLANTS
Saturday, Sunday & Monday Sept 3,4 & 5.
(we will close at PM on Monday)
Fox Farms Light Warrior Seed Starter
Many of you are great fans of Fox Farms' Ocean Forest, the "ultimate potting soil". Now meet Fox Farms "Light Warrior Seed Starter" , a powerful medium for sowing seeds. Seeds that we have started in this soil have developed more and stronger roots in a shorter time than other soils. We recommend it.
What to do in your garden in September
September in Southern California is considered a transitional month in the garden because it marks the beginning of the fall planting season -- a busy time of year for lucky warm-climate gardeners. The soil and air are warm but not overly hot and the nights become cooler. It is also, however, the time of year that the Santa Ana winds blow, meaning that there may be periods of hot, dry weather that scorches plants and people alike.
September's mildness makes just about any gardening task pleasant and in general September is a good time to clean out the summer garden and prepare the soil for winter plants. • Many winter-blooming flowers and some vegetables can be put into the ground in September for color and food during the cooler winter season.• Seeds and transplants of cool-weather hardy crops can be planted now for harvests from fall through early spring. • Seeds sown now for spring blooms and crops--especially edible peas and flowering sweet peas (left) particularly the early flowering variety --will encourage strong root and foliar development that will survive most cold snaps, bear sooner in the spring, and last longer. • Soil amendments can be dug in now to break down over the winter, enriching the soil for next year's gardens. Protect your soil from drying out by adding some new mulch to your soil.
Vegetables and Fruits
In September, fresh summer produce is still delicious, but production is slowing down.• Many green vegetables, including broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce and peas thrive in Southern California's dry, cooler fall season and can be started now. Broccoli, which requires full sun and regular water, will be ready to harvest in early winter and should be planted after the last of the Santa Ana winds. Like broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower are members of the Brassicaceae family, which grow well during cool seasons and require regular water.
• Sow arugula, • beets, • bok choy, • broccoli, • Brussels sprouts, • cabbage, • carrots, • cauliflower, • celery, • chard, • chervil, • chives, • collards, • endive, • fava beans, • garlic, • kale, • kohlrabi, • leeks, • lettuce (in our hot climate, this is the best time for sowing and transplanting butterhead and romaine types), • green onions, • short-day bulb onions, • parsley (the flat-leaf type is more winter-hardy than the curly one), • peas, • radishes, • spinach, • turnips and white potatoes. We have seeds for most of these vegetables. We are also sowing a lot of these in 4" pots and growing them until ready to put on sale.
• Sow or transplant two or three times the amount you would for spring harvest, as these overwintering crops will grow slowly, and your harvest will be reduced. When green leafy plants are three or four inches in size, they are mature enough to be harvested throughout the fall, winter, and early spring. These will bolt at the first real warmth of early spring, though, so they can't be counted on to provide a crop after that. But, by then, you'll have made the first spring plantings, so the gap between harvests won't be too long. Plants that have developed deep root systems and mature leaves are more tolerant of winter chills and swings in temperature..
• Quite a few herbs make attractive edible house-plants, including both dark green and dark opal basil, chervil, chives, mint, oregano, parsley (the flat-leaf type is hardier and more flavorful), rosemary, sweet marjoram, and thyme. Sow the seeds thickly to guarantee good germination, as plants will grow slowly over the winter, and consequently less foliage will be available for recipes. Indoor herbs need very bright light and warmth to grow.
• Problems with seed germination may be due to old seed, soil that is too warm, too cold or that has been allowed to dry out, or seeds that were sown either too deeply or not deeply enough. We have seed starting mats and trays in stock as well as bio-degradable seed pots.
• Keep seedbeds moist and shaded from hot afternoon sun until the seedlings develop two to four true leaves. After transplanting them, mulch the soil lightly, adding more in October and November. Keep the mulch an inch away from the plant stems, however, for good air circulation and less potential for disease problems.
• Pinch out new blossoms and growing tips of established melons, winter squashes, and tomatoes to force growth into the fruits that have already set. If you haven’t already done so now is your last chance to plant some cool weather tomatoes such as Stupice, Glacier , Siberian and San Francisco Fog.
• Plant new trees and shrubs while the soil is still warm to encourage the roots to get established before going dormant for the winter. Trim off deadwood and water sprouts (quickly-growing upright shoots), but leave major pruning for January, when the trees are dormant.
• Feed citrus for the last time this year, and water trees less as the weather cools and the rains (hopefully) take over. Cupped, wilted, or falling leaves signal moisture stress from hot winds, which can occur even when the soil is damp. • Provide lath, shade cloth, or other semi-open material for protection. Pale green new citrus leaves may need a dose of liquid chelated iron or a solution of fish emulsion and kelp. • Remove and destroy fruit mummies on the ground or still on the tree to reduce the chance of brown rot next year.
• Strawberries with whitish or yellowish leaves need to be fertilized one last time with a high-nitrogen food. After that, fertilize them with a low-nitrogen, high-phosphorus, and high-potassium fertilizer to help them harden off for the winter.
• Sun-dry the last prune plums, grapes, figs, apples, and pears. Be sure to keep the moist pieces separate so the surfaces can form a seal against spoilage.
Ornamentals - Annuals
• Southern California is colorful most times of the year, and after pulling out summer flowering plants, late September is a good time to put in pansies, snapdragons, primroses, Iceland poppies, cinerarias, hollyhock, calendula, foxgloves, stock, and sweet alyssum. These flowers may be planted from seed or bought as plants. They require at least a half-day of sun, preferably full day.The annuals you put into the ground must be cool-season plants. The sooner you get things into the ground and the more regularly you feed them the more likely you will be to have blooms prior to the holidays. If you manage that they will bloom all winter into spring, with April being the height of bloom. • For very fragrant sweet peas, rely on some old-fashioned varieties such as Antique Fantasy and Painted Lady, or new cultivars that have the distinctive fragrance bred back in, like Leamington, Rosy Frills, Royal Wedding, and Snoopea. • Plant cyclamen and primroses where they're shaded from the still-intense afternoon sun for color through next spring.
Our fall color is already starting to arrive here at Deep Roots.
Ornamentals - Perennials
• Transplant perennials, ground covers, shrubs, and vines while the soil and air temperatures are still warm, to give them a full season's root development over those planted in the spring. Set them out in the cooler late afternoons or evenings, and water them in with a mild solution of a balanced fertilizer to promote new root growth and reduce transplant shock. Mulch and shade them lightly for the first week. Add more mulch in October and November for additional protection.
• Fertilize azaleas, camellias, gardenias, hydrangeas and rhododendrons with a fertilizer that acidifies the soil, to encourage formation of next spring's blossom buds. Increase the spring bloom size of azaleas, camellias, dahlias, and rhododendrons by removing half of the new flower buds. For extra-large camellia blooms, remove all but one bud per branch; leave some further down on the bush for later bloom. • Prolong blooming on tuberous begonias, dahlias, and fuchsias by pinching off faded flowers. Water them frequently while the weather is still hot, and then feed them with a low-nitrogen, high-phosphorus fertilizer before they begin to go dormant.
• Divide and replant crowded perennials such as agapanthus, coral bells, Shasta daisies, daylilies, phloxes, and yarrow. • Stake tall-growing mums before they get too top-heavy and fall over, unless you prefer a cascading or curly-stemmed display. Feed mums until the buds show color and begin to open.
• Cut back established alyssum, coreopsis, marguerite and Shasta daisies, delphiniums, dianthus, felicias, gaillardias, geraniums, ivies, lantanas, lobelias, petunias, and santolinas to one-third or one-half of their present size. However, don't cut them back beyond the green foliage to the older woody growth, as this may kill the plant.
• This is the last month to prune roses and feed them for their last bloom cycle before going dormant. Hold off on severe pruning until plants are fully dormant in January. Feed plants lightly, and water. Continue to water them only in the mornings to lessen mildew and other wet-foliage-at-sunset-with-warm-evenings disease problems. Clean up rose beds. Pick up old leaves and check for pests and diseases.
• Bring in houseplants from their summer breather outdoors after grooming them and thoroughly checking them for pests. This is a good time to repot them in fresh potting mix. Toss the "old" mix out into the garden or onto the compost pile. Keep them in a bright area indoors for three weeks to let them gradually get used to the darker, warmer, and drier indoor conditions. Then move them to their winter homes--but away from drafts and heaters.
• Dry flowers for arrangements that you've grown yourself. The easiest to dry are baby's breath, bachelor's button, bells of Ireland, hydrangea, lavender, scabiosa, statice, strawflower, and yarrow. All but the bells of Ireland are best air-dried: tie a few stems into a loose bunch, and hang it up, flower heads down, in a cool, dark, dry place for several weeks. The exception is Bells of Ireland--stand these upright in a container with a half-inch of water; flowers will dry as the water evaporates. This can be done with hydrangeas also.
• Save the stalks of tall sunflowers, stripped of their branches and leaves, to use next year as trellises for peas and beans.
• Start or reseed lawns. Keep the soil surface moist so seeds germinate and seedling roots get a good start. Feed and water established lawns; continue mowing at two inches in height. This is the perfect time to overseed your lawn for winter with creeping red fescue grass seed. We sell this seed by the scoop for $3.00. Top dress with Kellog's Topper.
Trees and Shrubs
• Shiny red and orange berries are a sure sign of fall, and provide essential food for birds during the winter. Shrubs with colorful berries to plant now for fall and winter accents include abelia, barberry, bottlebrush, holly, oleander, pyracantha (above), quince, and virburnum. Pyracanthas are relatively fast growing, can be trained against a wall or grown as a tree and provide interest all year round with cascades of white flowers in spring, green berries in summer and red or orange berries all fall and winter long. • Continue to give your trees and shrubs infrequent deep watering while it’s still hot out. Every few weeks is good and deep watering with a hose or bubblers to your trees will pay off with healthy trees and deep roots. Don't forget to water mainly AT THE DRIP LINE, not at the trunk. Add mulch at the base of the tree but be careful to keep mulch away from the tree trunk.
• This is the perfect time of year to plant a tree to beautify your yard--the roots will get well established before they go dormant, ready for the spring surge of both foliage and root growth.
• Decide what you want from a tree--where it will be planted and for what purpose. If you want summer shade for the house, a deciduous tree planted on the south side would be appropriate. If you prefer a pleasant window view, a grouping of silver birches might be nice.
• Let us help you choose the right tree. If we do not have it in stock we can order it in for you at no extra cost.
• Fall colors come alive with many trees, including beech, birch, coral tree, gingko, liquidambar, magnolia, maidenhair, Japanese and other maples, crape myrtles, persimmon, Chinese pistache (away from the coast), and sour gum.
• Once you've made a preliminary choice, consider the mature size of the tree - does the area allow the tree sufficient space when it's mature? Pay attention to this detail as removing a mature tree that has outgrown its space is no easy job. Have you planned for the different needs of the shaded and moist soil underneath its widespread limbs? What about the roots? Will they grow into your underground pipes and destroy your plumbing? When all these considerations seem to fit, purchase it and plant it.
• If your garden is a windy corridor avoid planting trees that are prone to wind damage. These include acacia, ash, cypress, elm, eucalyptus, liquidamber, California pepper, and pine.
• Continue replenishing your compost pile with plant trimmings. Spent annuals and vegetables add a lot of bulk now, along with grass and other garden clippings, and non-greasy trimmings from the kitchen. But leave out plant material that is obviously infected with diseases - destroy or dispose of this instead. Chop up bulky items to help them decompose faster. Layer greenery with a bit of soil and dry matter. Keep the pile moist but not waterlogged, and turn it or loosen it up every other week or so to let in air.
• Dig in organic amendments to your soil to break down over the winter, enriching the soil for next year's garden.
• Hose off plant foliage--both top and underneath leaf surfaces-- to lessen insect populations. This is especially helpful to get rid of aphids, caterpillars, mealybugs, spider mites, and whiteflies on beans, collards, kale, tomatoes, and roses. Be sure to do this early enough in the day (preferably early morning) so that the foliage can dry completely before it gets too hot.
• Check all your hanging baskets and potted plants. Clean them up (a little judicious pruning) and fertilize them now and they will last well into the cooler months.
• Once your summer blooming shrubs and vines have finished blooming, give them a good pruning.