This Month’s Garden Tasks

Gardening in Southern California is more forgiving since our seasons are not so extreme as other climates.  Having said that, we still have seasons and though they are more subtle, our gardens undergo changes throughout the year.  Monthly garden tasks will guide you in what you need to be doing in your garden throughout the year including: prepping, planting, fertilizing, pruning, watering, and pest control.

January February March
April May June
July August September
October November December



12 thoughts on “This Month’s Garden Tasks”

  1. Leslie,
    I bought seeds and planted several little seed starters but I still have leftover seeds. How long will my seeds stay good? Should I plant them all now or can I save some until next year?

    1. Hi Jess,

      You don’t have to plant your seeds all at the same. I stagger my starts when I plant so my results last longer. Also, lots of seeds will hold until next year, but it’s important to keep them in a cool, dry place for preservation purposes. Seeds are little self-sufficient pods so they are tougher than we give them credit for, but it never hurts to be nice to them!

  2. I have one tomato plant that is only 2 ft. tall but has been bearing huge tomatos in quantity for a month now [early girl] and then there is big boy or some such name that is six feet tall, puts out huge numbers of flowers but has only set two tomatos. Any clue as to what gives? Haven’t been able to locate tomato set in Coronado but hope to get someone to take me to Anderson’s this week

    1. Hi Linda,

      Hard to say what the problem is with the one tomato that isn’t setting fruit. Since the two tomatoes are different varieties, one may be slower to produce than the other. If the plants are healthy I’d take a wait and see attitude. Personally, I’m having a dismal year with my tomatoes. Walter Andersen Nursery has quite a few in stock as of last Saturday.

      I wish I had a better answer for you, Linda!

  3. Hi, Leslie~ I don’t see Nasturtiums mentioned here. I live in 10b (coastal San Diego). Can I plant nasturtium seeds, in ground & in hanging pots “year-round”?? If not, what are best months to plant them? Thanx in advance.

    1. Hi Carol,

      Although I have nasturtiums sprouting year round in my garden, they only really grow well from late fall through the spring. Once you plant nasturtiums, you will have sprouts for life because they seed prolifically, but even the naturalized plants that sprout throughout the year seem to know that they have to save their growing energy for when the weather cools down. Mine peak in March usually. If you want to grow in a hanging pot, you might look for the variety that grows more bush-like rather than the trailing because the trailing varieties get reeeaaalllly long. Hope that’s helpful! Leslie

  4. ( whoops. Computer blanked out before I could complete my msg. to you.)

    As I was saying….. Good to know I can start nasturtium seed(s) soon in my hanging basket. And, the reason I Want a trailing kind is to use it as a screening device. Will get a “Gleam” one, and actually hope it’ll hang down at least 6 feet.

    One more question: Can you tell me the difference between the “Moonlight Gleam” and “Gleam Milkmaid” pale whites ? They seem to be sooo similar. Which one do you think would be the hardiest, best?? (The one You’d plant, for instance.)

    Thanx again.

    Thanx for response.

    1. Hello Carol, I’m not familiar with those varieties, and was unsuccessful finding good information to compare them, so I don’t have a helpful answer. Sorry! Why don’t you mix them up in your hanging planters?

  5. Here’s a little comparison for those of you who garden in the Northeast.

    September Tasks in the Northeast – Zone 6-6.5
    Out east tasks are a bit different, and due to the hurricane, hurried up a bit. Remember the board game ‘Chutes and Ladders’? Well we were pushed ahead suddenly by two weeks or more.

    There is no ‘hot and dry’ – we are cool and wet. The tomato plants are tired at this point and almost all the leaves have dropped, the fruits are hard and green and some plants must be simply pulled and composted.

    Mulching, which was critical for August must be pulled up because the slugs are now in full force, even eating the Swiss Chard which they typically find bitter, the poor dears.

    It is primarily a weeds garden in early September, with the hints of some of the seedlings that survived the hurricane and the wet storms and winds. The Arugula looks promising. Tucked under all the weeds in my mini-bed tubs were some leftover potatoes and onion sets. I may try to plant these into my winter garden which is simply a pseudogreenhouse set up which takes me through November depending on the temperatures.

    Our Camellias bloom in late February up and out here. It’s fun to see that yours bloom in the Fall.

    I aggressively pruned back the grape vines and the berry canes. I just think they need it. Any cane or vine that has fruited this year get cut down, bringing air and light to the stronger branches. I’m not that familiar with grape growing, however, if you look at vineyards you’ll see that they espallier them and keep them trimmed back and straight jacketed. Mine are a bit more free but still clipped way back.

    My sunshine real estate and my property is severely limited and I reserve it for my Italian vegetables (eggplants and tomatoes) and perhaps a squash or melon or two. All the perrennials and low growing bushes must handle partial shade or they’re not invited to the party. While many books call for Spring pruing, I do a great deal of pruning in Early Fall, so the plants don’t put out shoots, but they don’t freeze either.

    As for planting my German Garlic bulbs are coming in – this is the first year I’m getting a set to plant. They need a good freeze to make them happy. I started my winter veggies a month ago – because of our uber-wet autumn, many failed.

    That’s a quick glance at some of the Northeast activities – similar, yet different.

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