Home > Some Help with Gardening > Garden To-Do List by Zone > Zone 9
February To-Do List for Zone 9
  • Build the soil! During dry spells, dig in composted manure and garden waste; turn under cover crops, such as annual rye, vetch, and clover.
  • Start seeds of indispensable summer veggies—tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants—indoors under lights.
  • Also indoors, start seeds of flowers that are slow to develop, such as lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum), wax begonias, petunias, and geraniums.
  • Plant perennials, bareroot roses, trees, shrubs, and vines. (Next month could be too hot!)
  • Direct-seed radishes, spinach, carrots, peas, onions, and cabbage family vegetables.
  • Continue to plant Iceland poppies (Papaver nudicaule), calendulas (Calendula officinalis), foxglove, and primroses in flowerbeds.
  • Plant dahlia bulbs and begonia tubers.
March To-Do List For Zone 9
  • Feed roses with an organic blend of cottonseed meal, alfalfa meal, and composted manure.
  • Plant cool-loving vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli, spinach, radishes, Asian greens, lettuce, and parsley. It may be too late to plant peas, however, if temperatures usually turn hot in your area by April or May.
  • Harden-off tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants by moving them outside, beneath a plastic cover or inside a cold frame. Plant them in the garden after the last possible frost.
  • Prune away frost-damaged areas on citrus.
April To-Do List for Zone 9
  • If slugs and snails are decimating your plants, collect them in the evening, when you're most likely to spot them.
  • Plant pumpkins, summer squash, melons, and other vegetables that thrive in heat.
  • Every 2 weeks from now until late summer, plant small blocks of bush beans and sweet corn to extend the harvest until frost.
  • Thin fruits on fruit trees to increase their size and keep branches from breaking.
  • Plant summer bedding plants, such as petunias, lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum), wax begonias, and impatiens.
  • Sow seeds of nasturtiums, marigolds, portulaca, amaranthus, salvias, vinca (Catharanthus roseus), sunflowers, and zinnias.
  • Plant perennials like ornamental alliums, bellflowers (Campanula spp.), daisies, yarrow, daylilies, coreopsis, penstemon, perennial geraniums (Geranium spp.), iris, and statice.
May To-Do List for Zone 9
  • Plant last runs of lettuce, choosing heat-tolerant varieties that are slow to go to seed.
  • Start new plantings of melons, squash, dried beans, okra, and southern peas that thrive in heat.
  • Set out heat-loving petunias, moss rose (Portulaca grandiflora), amaranth, vinca (Catharanthus roseus), nicotiana, marigolds, and sunflowers.
  • Pull out and compost primula, viola, calendula, and pansy plants that are no longer flowering well.
  • Use drip irrigation to provide a constant supply of moisture to beds; also mulch with organic materials, such as dried grass clippings, pine needles, or leaves.

June To-Do List for Zone 9
  • Look for slow-moving bugs in the cool of the morning; hand-pick them, then dust below the plants with diatomaceous earth (be sure to use a dust mask so you don't inhale the dust).
  • Last chance to plant sweet potato slips and peanuts this season.
  • Continue planting sweet corn in small blocks, every 2 weeks for continuous harvest through fall.
  • Start more zinnias, marigolds, and sunflowers to replenish tired flowers in late summer.
  • Water plants in the morning so they don't become susceptible to fungus and insect infestation.
  • Plant more heat-tolerant veggies: Replace spinach with Swiss chard and potatoes with taro (Colocasia esculenta).
July To-Do List for Zone 9
  • If foliage of midsummer-blooming roses begins to yellow, check soil pH—add sulfur if it tests much above 7.
  • Keep roses well watered to promote bloom into late fall.
  • Early in the month, cover fruit trees with nets to protect fruit from birds.
  • Spread compost on areas where you plan to grow fall veggies and flowers.
  • For fall harvest, plant lettuce, carrots, beets, turnips, early beans, brassicas, and summer squash.
  • Protect peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, and lettuce from sun scald by providing partial shade.
  • Remember that you can still sow fast-blooming portulaca and sunflowers.
  • Prune back chrysanthemums for bushier plants in fall.