Usually, the stretch from about Sept. 15-Oct. 15 is prime home garden planting time. Not this year.
“We need to move the planting dates to Oct. 15 to Nov. 15,” said Don Ackley, CVWD Water Management Supervisor, who attributes “the change to this summer’s temperature extremes.”
Forecasts call for daytime temperatures to remain in the three-digit range until about Oct. 15. By then nurseries will be loaded with fresh plants in containers, flats and pots. New plants can develop roots when the soil is warm before cooler air temps in late fall and winter slow plant growth.
With the predicted late start for a cool season, Ackely recommends keeping a close eye on new plants’ water needs.
“Under these conditions, you really need to pour the water on, both for the plant’s physiological needs and the plant’s immediate surrounding environment.”
As the nights get cooler, probably around early November, plants will need less water and settle into a regular watering schedule.
What to plant
Add locally native plants to your garden. You support the pollinators and other wildlife that depend on them for survival.
Here are two strong sources to find native or desert-friendly plants for the Coachella Valley:
“Lush and Efficient: Desert-Friendly Landscaping in the Coachella Valley” lists more than 300 plants with over 800 photos. You can search by several dozen categories. Find the 160-page book at CVWD.org/386/CVWD-Store for $10 with free shipping. Or, look at a PDF of the book by going to CVWD.org and clicking on Conservation.
At Calscape.org all you have to do is enter your address to see 510 plants and photos divided into 20 categories.
For fresh veggies to enjoy this winter, jump on planting seedlings of lettuce, beets, carrots, spinach, broccoli and peas in a cool week. More choices --- lentils, cilantro, garlic, cabbage, turnips and swiss chard