by John Bagnasco

Once the blazing heat subsides, there are actually a number of plants that can go in the ground the latter part of Sept. Here are a few ideas:

  • Plant winter-flowering sweet peas along coastal areas, soaking overnight before sowing. Look for the variety Winter Elegance if you want blossoms for the Christmas holidays.
  • Now is a good time to plant shade trees. For smaller yards, consider: Peppermint Tree, Australian Willow, Tristaniopsis laurina, and New Zealand Christmas Tree.
  • Fall is the best time for establishing California natives. Look for Pacific Coast Iris, California lilac, Manzanita, Western Redbud, Toyon and Matilija Poppy.
  • Divide and transplant large clumps of South African bulbs such as Freesia, Homeria, Ixia, Sparaxis and Watsonia.
  • Select fall bulbs for spring color. Choose from Freesia, Ranunculus, Daffodil and Narcissus. Remember that Tulips, Hyacinths, and Crocus should be refrigerated 6-8 weeks prior to planting in warm winter areas. Do not place in freezer.
  • For fall and Holiday color plant Calendula, Pansies, Iceland Poppy, Primrose and Snapdragon. Wait until October to plant in hot, dry, inland areas.
  • Garden Centers will have good selections of Chrysanthemums this month.
  • This is the last chance to plant warm season grasses like Bermuda and St. Augustine. It is also the last month to establish ground covers before the winter rains set in.