Fall Planting Tips for the San Diego Area


Fall, especially October and November, is prime planting time for native plants and most perennials.

Remove fading summer plants.

Add compost to your soil, and mulch on top. Keep the mulch a few inches away from tree trucks, as they are especially susceptible to fungal infections when they stay too damp.

Plant cool season vegetables:

Brassicas, such as broccoli, kale, cabbage, and cauliflower.

Root veggies, including beets, carrots, rutabaga, and garlic.

Leafy veggies, such as lettuce, spinach, and chard.

Peas and fava beans.

Flowers, such as California poppies, marigolds, snap dragons, stock, sweet peas, and pansies.

For a more detailed planting guide go to Master Gardener planting guide.

Summer Gardening Tips

 kids and carrots

Maintain a thick layer of mulch around plants to hold in moisture and suppress weeds.

Warm season vegetable seedlings (tomatoes, squash, peppers, eggplant) and seeds (corn, beans) can still be put into the ground through July for fall harvest.

Plant Brassica family seeds (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower) in August for winter harvest.

Carrots, beets, and turnips can be planted by seed all summer.

(Thank you to California Gardening Magazine, published by the San Diego Floral Association for wonderful seasonal gardening information.)

For a more detailed planting guide, go to Master Gardener planting guide.

Winter Gardening Tips

Soil tips: 

Keep your soil covered with plants or compost. Grow cover crops (lava beans, alfalfa) – they heal and enrich the soil.

If you use only kitchen scraps in your compost pile, you create a bacterial compost which weeds and Bermuda grass love. Add straw and paper to make fungus predominant compost. This is good for most plants.


Plant cool season vegetables such as:

beets                                                            leeks

broccoli                                                         lettuce

Brussel sprouts                                             mustard

cabbage                                                       onions

carrots                                                          peas

cauliflower                                                    radicchio

celery                                                           radishes

fava beans                                                   spinach

kale                                                              Swiss chard

For a more detailed winter planting guide go to Master Gardener planting guide.

EWG’s Dirty Dozen: Cancer Prevention Edition


Environmental Working Group’s latest consumer guide highlights 12 of the worst chemicals that are known to disrupt cancer-related pathways and gives you tips on how to avoid them. You will also find guides to minimizing exposure to pesticides in produce, chemicals in sunscreen and other personal care products. 

 Their website is here.