Annuals - Calendula, Pansies and Iceland Poppies (get them in the ground by the first week of this month).
Trees - Lagerstroemia indica (Crape Myrtle), Arctostaphylos densiflora 'Howard McMinn', Chionanthus retusus (Chinese Fringe).
Bulbs - Convallaria majalis (Lily-of-the-valley), Alliums, Muscari, Freesia, Scilla peruviana,Sparaxis.
Veggies - Buy garlic now for planting in November.
Products - Frost cloth (before frost arrives and stores run out). Bonemeal for planting bulbs next month.
Bulbs - Buy spring blooming bulbs now while the selection is still good at the nursery. Store the bulbs in a brown paper bag in a cool dark place until ready to plant in November.
Planting: This is plantapolooza time in Sonoma County for frost tolerant trees, shrubs, perennials and veggies. Keep plants watered well until rains arrive in earnest. Many perennials, such as Hemerocallis (Daylily), Monarda (Beebalm), Agapanthus, can be divided now and replanted. When trading divisions with other gardeners be careful to inspect the soil to make sure no pests have traveled to your garden.
Fertilizing/Mulching: At this time of year gardeners tend to want to fertilize all their plants but frost will arrive at the end of the month here in Zone 9. Pushing new growth now may mean extra frost damage to your plants. Instead of liquid fertilizer, add a layer of compost as mulch on top of the soil. The benefits of a thick (at least 3 inches) are many, especially important is it helps with erosion control and keeps soil a little warmer during winter.
Pests: Mealybug and aphids can be controlled with insecticidal soap. When pesticide is needed, please avoid using Broad Spectrum pesticides whenever possible. Instead, use pesticides such as baits or pheromone traps that are for a specific pest. Also, start with the least toxic(water spray) and step up to insecticidal soap or Neem oil. Always consider what can be done to improve the growing conditions to keep pests from populating a plant.
Aphid infestation on Ornamental Cabbage.