Fall is the time for planting! The weather has cooled off and the soil is still warm. The fall and winter rain (cross your fingers) will help plants get established before warm weather in spring and summer. If you are starting a new garden or landscape, this is the best time to plant structural plants to get them established. October still may have some hot spells so continue watering when needed.


  • Chrysanthemums


  • IMG_4710Cool season annuals such as pansy, viola, Iceland poppy, alyssum, calendula, snapdragon, ornamental cabbage and kale and cyclamen (cyclamen is fabulous for a splash of color in containers and they last a long time)
  • Sweet Pea seeds – They can be planted anytime in the fall, but I like to plant them in October (even late Sept). They love the sun so make sure you pick a full sunny spot and a strong trellis. The trellis should have small wires or support because sweet peas have tiny tendrils. Hot tip: Plant them near a window so you get their amazing scent flowing into your home.
  • Winter veggies (from seed) such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, beets, kale, lettuce, spinach and green peas.


  • Pinch off and/or cut back perennial that bloom year round
  • Divide iris, lily, ginger and Birds of Paradise
  • If you planted your pumpkins seeds early enough, you should have pumpkins to pick!


  • You can fertilize your perennials to promote spring growth


  • Continue to water, especially during the Santa Ana winds and warm days
  • Lightly spray dirt and debris off leaves from the winds


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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