Annuals - (or Perennials used as annuals) - Sweet Peas, Bellis perennis, Calendula, Chrysanthemum paludosum (nice white daisy flowers for winter).
Shrubs - Early blooming Camellias, Cotoneaster, Weigela 'Variegata'.
Trees - Japanese Maples (can choose best fall color variety).
Veggies - Artichoke, Spinach ('Red Kitten' is exceptional), Garlic.
Bulbs - Anemones, Ranunculus, and all spring bloomers.
Products - Neem oil concentrate or copper sprayfor dormant spraying later in winter. Frost cloth. Pump Sprayer.
Planting: It's time to plant Sweet Peas. They love well draining soil with plenty of compost. When planting spring flowering bulbs, place about a tablespoon of bone meal in the bottom of planting hole. Mix the bone meal with the soil, cover with a little soil and plant the bulbs. Plant garlic this month. Choose areas of the garden to plant bareroot plants later in winter. Prepare the soil in these areas now by watering and amending with compost. Also place a layer of compost on top of prepared area (at least 3 inches). Let Dahlias go dormant-if the soil is well draining Dahlias do not need to be dug out for winter here in Sonoma County).
Fertilizing: Cool-season annual plants, such as Pansies and Iceland Poppies will appreciate all purpose liquid fertilizer (Mary uses Maxsea) once a month all winter. Add a layer of compost to container plantings.
Pests: Fruit trees - Keep fallen fruit and old fruit in the tree (mummies) cleaned up to help manage pests. Many pests overwinter in the soil. Save money and get better coverage by using a pump sprayer to apply Neem oil concentrate instead of using small spray bottles of premixed Neem. Remove and discard plants such as annual ornamental cabbage when they start to attract lots of aphids. Remember, weeds attract pests too.
Irrigation: Dehydrated plants are more susceptible to frost damage (succulents excepted). Watering the garden continues until rains arrive in earnest. Also, check to see which plants are living under the eaves of buildings. Once irrigation systems are turned off for winter those plants may not receive any water from rain and will need to be irrigated.
Weeds: Once the rains are here in earnest the annual cool-season weeds will return. Manage weeds before they go to seed.
Old fruit called a "Mummy"