In the Bay Area, we often enjoy our most pleasant weather this month—an ideal time to work in and enjoy your garden. Think ahead also for the spring months and what blooming plants you can work into your growing areas for some holiday color. Consider permanent landscaping: trees, shrubs, and native plants do especially well when planted in our warm autumn soils and allowed to take in the winter rains.
- Mums: These hardy flowers will give your garden some fall flair if planted now. Our Cole Street, Mission Street, and Polk Street locations will all have mums arriving in September.
- Evergreen hedges: A final trim will assure a neat overall look for winter.
- Dahlias: Delightful dahlias are best suited for a sunny spot with well-drained, fertile soil. If your soil is claylike and heavy, work in up to four inches of manure or compost a couple of weeks before you plant. Fertilize with a balanced 5-10-5 mix monthly as plants start to grow. Do not use a high-nitrogen mix of fertilizer, those with a higher first number, as you will sacrifice flowers for leaves. A general garden fertilizer will work.
- Spring bulbs: Buy and plant daffodils, lilies, and hyacinths in September or early October. Tulips do better when planted at the end of October. Our garden centers will have an assortment of Dutch bulbs arriving in our garden centers this month, including alliums, grape hyacinths, iris, anemones, and crocus.
- Garden seeds: Gather seeds from perennials and annuals. Place them in brown paper bags to dry out for a few days; then catalog and store them in envelopes.
- Water trees: Keep all trees, especially citrus, well watered. As citrus is mostly water, those planted in containers need watering almost daily. Citrus plants will get their last feeding this month. We recommend Citrus Tone®. (Sku 7208671, $9.49)
- Garden tools: Keep your tools in good shape by cleaning with soapy water after each use. Mineral oil will remove any sticky sap. After cleaning, lightly oil them before storing in a protected place.
- Winter vegetables: Unless it is still very hot, plant winter vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, leeks, radishes, snap beans, and spinach.
- For the birds: Birds eat a lot of garden pests that would otherwise feast in the garden. Consider a bird bath or bird feeder to attract them.
- Fertilizers and pesticides: These should never be applied during the heat of the day, even if they are nontoxic.
See you in the garden!
Black Gold® Earthworm Castings
This enriching soil amendment is great for use as a top-dressing or can be added to water to make a rich “casting tea.” The use of earthworm castings in many of the Black Gold® potting soils and amendments sets their products apart. Since 1983, Black Gold brand garden amendments, potting mixes, and fertilizers have been available at fine garden centers and have gained a loyal customer following. All Black Gold products are professionally formulated to ensure gardening success
The brand of choice for the gardening enthusiast, Black Gold also boasts a broad line of natural and organic gardening products that are listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) and approved for organic gardening. The 8-quart bag of earthworm castings is the newest offering in our assortment of Black Gold products. (Sku 7326440, $6.99)