fall lawn care checklist

Fall is an active time in Southern California gardens! Keeping up with all the chores that need to be done and plants that need to be planted can be challenging. Here are some of the most important lawn care tasks in your garden this season.


Employ the following lawn care tasks this September.

  • Water, water, water.

After a long, hot summer, a typical garden in Southern California can start to look pretty crispy by early fall. Watering regularly is crucial. If you don’t already have an automatic watering system, regularly trudging out to the garden will get tiring. A timer and drip watering system can help you keep up with the responsibility.

  • Prep the soil. 

Your summer plants may have zapped the nutrients from the soil. If you’re planting fall and winter crops, now is the time to reinvigorate your soil. Amending your soil with homemade compost is a good way to start this project. To learn more about amending your soil with compost, check out this Sunset Garden video.

  • Dig out spent summer plants. 

Use a garden hoe and spade to dig out summer vegetable plants that have finished producing. Don’t leave plants in the garden over the winter, as dead plants can attract fungus and mildew.

  • Check the weather. 

Santa Ana winds will take a lot out of your plants. Monitor the weather report for extra hot weather, and adjust your watering schedule accordingly.


October is a big month for planting in Southern California gardens! With your soil properly amended and repaired, the sky is the limit for your garden.

  • California native plants. 

With the soil still warm from summer and our rainy season just around the corner, mid-October through January is the ideal time to plant trees, shrubs, and ground covers, but most of all, California native and Mediterranean plants. These species are particularly well suited to our seasonal rhythms.

  • Start seeds and transplants. 

In October, there’s a lot to plant for your winter vegetable garden. Now is the time to get started with lettuce, collards, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, radishes, peas, and beets.

  • Continue to build up the soil. 

You can never have soil that’s too healthy. Continue adding compost to your soil throughout the fall before planting new crops.

  • Plant bulbs. 

Plant spring bulbs like tulips and daffodils, and dig up summer bulbs like dahlias and gladiolus. Digging up bulbs can be a process. You’ll need pruning shears and a spade.


November is a time for tending winter vegetables and harvesting the last of the summer veggies.

  • Protect the last of the tomatoes and peppers. 

Summer vegetables like tomatoes and peppers can last through November and even into December if protected from freezing weather. Try draping a tarp or drop cloth over your plants on nights when temperatures drop.

  • Plant lettuce every two weeks. 

You’ll have an endless supply of lettuce throughout the fall and winter if you continue to plant lettuce every couple of weeks.

  • Thin seedlings. 

The seedlings you planted in October must be thinned once they’ve sprouted. This will prevent your seedlings from competing with one another, enabling them to grow strong and healthy.

  • Cut back watering. 

Southern California can see some rain in late November and early December. Keep an eye on the weather and your watering schedule. Water only as often as necessary to ensure that your garden is productive and efficient.

Tashman Home Center

As your neighborhood home improvement store, Tashman Home Center is the place to go for many gardening needs. We carry everything from shovels to rakes to hoes to paintbrushes, cleaning products, and more. Our knowledgeable and friendly staff is always happy to help.