While September can still be quite hot and dry here in Southern California, temperatures will start to wind down as the Fall equinox ebbs closer. This is the time to assess where you want to place certain cool-weather crops as you pull up spent tomatoes, cucumbers, and other summer varieties from the garden - you don’t want to start a bunch of seedlings and have nowhere to put them!
And, speaking of seedlings, have you decided on what to plant in September? There are tons of fun varieties like cruciferous veggies, mustard greens, and root vegetables to choose from.
So, let’s get started!
What Vegetables to Plant in September – Zones 9 and 10
If you haven’t started your cool-weather seedlings, get on it ASAP!
Ideally, you want to start seeds around August 15th to give them a good head start for maximum yields. However, you still have time to get things going; just try to sow your seeds by September 15th to ensure you get SOMETHING worth writing home about in the garden.
I’m mainly talking about cruciferous veggies like cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, turnips, and cauliflower that need more time to mature into their full-size glory.
Starting these plants too late may result in stunted growth with no heads or crowns to speak of, so make a list and get planting!
Not sure where to start?
Here’s a List of Vegetable to Plant in September:
- Bok choi/pac choi
- Collard greens
- Cucumbers** (last chance)
- Eggplant** (last chance)
- Mustard greens**
- Okra** (last chance)
- Short-day onions
- Sweet potatoes
- Swiss chard
- Tomatoes** (last chance)
** Means succession sow these varieties.
As you may have noticed, there are a few summer crops labeled as “last chance” for succession sowing. This includes greenhouse varieties as well since they need sufficient daylight hours to grow and set fruit.
Tomatoes, okra, cucumbers, and eggplant all require long warm days to produce flavorful and sizeable harvests. If you succession sow them too late, you run the risk of wasting a lot of time, energy, and resources trying to get these crops up to snuff.
In my experience, it isn’t worth trying to save a struggling plant that’s now more susceptible to pests and disease. If you started seeds and they’re leggy and weak, start some new seedlings and save yourself the headache and disappointment.
Additionally, keep in mind that all of these cool-weather seedlings will need protection from the sun until summer temperatures start to drop and the risk of burning or bolting has passed.
I do this by using a 40% shade cloth over my garden beds until closer to the end of September, sometimes even into October, depending on the weather. This protects both my late summer crops from getting singed and keeps the new cool-weather crops from bolting.
Aside from making sure to get things started on time and keeping those crops protected, Fall is a really fun time of year in the garden! You get to enjoy once again another round of verdant green hues and an abundance of cool-weather delights like cabbage, bok choi, broccoli, and more!
Flowers to Plant in September
Even though the weather is cooling down and daylight hours are beginning to shorten, you can still enjoy flowers in the garden.
These varieties are great for attracting bees and other pollinators, including beneficial predators.
What Flowers to Plant in September:
- Four o’clock
- Morning glory
** Means you can succession sow these varieties.
Herbs to Plant in September
The time has come once again to enjoy herbal delights like parsley and cilantro in the garden! I always miss having these fresh and ready to harvest in the garden during the hot summer months.
Thankfully, September is the last month in the year to worry about excessive heat. Be sure to plant plenty!
Here are the herbs you can plant in September:
**Means you can succession sow these varieties.
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