My rule of thumb is to spread a nice layer of mulch around tax time (April 15 before the summer heat) and Labor Day (before some plants go dormant).  Two easy times of the year to remember!  Mulch helps prevent weeds and helps to retain moisture in the soil. We get a truckload of mulch and spend the day spreading it all over the garden.





Wisteria April 2014



Blooming (lots blooming but just to name a few):

  • Sweet Peas
  • Azaleas
  • Citrus
  • Clematis
  • Roses
  • Wisteria


  • Warm season annuals such as coleus, cosmos, dahlia, geranium, lobelia, petunia, verbena, vinca and zinnias
  • Warm season veggies such as tomatoes, beans, eggplant, squash, cucumbers, watermelon and peppers
  • Azaleas (A perfect time to plant them since they are dormant while in bloom)


  • Sweet Peas – Continue cutting flowers so they will continue to bloom.  Check their trellis to make sure it’s sturdy as they will grow quickly and wrap their tendrils fast and furiously around it.
  • Deadhead roses


  • Avocados
  • Citrus
  • Roses


  • I prefer the really shredded mulch, which eventually breaks down and works as a compost
  • Use 2-3 inches all over your garden beds, but leave some space around the bottom of trees to prevent rotting

Most of this information is from my personal gardening experiences in coastal Southern California.  I refer to these basic ‘Monthly To Do’s’ as a basic guide as well as my garden journal notes.  They are always evolving and continually updated.

I have also compiled some of this information from these highly recommended sources such as:  Green Thumb Nursery, OC Register (Home & Garden section), Rogers Gardens (Ron Vanderhoff’s monthly checklists are extremely detailed), Sunset magazine, UCCE Master Gardeners of Orange County and Pat Welsh’s ‘Southern California Gardening’ book (this book is a must have)!

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