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Seasonal Gardening

Make the Most of Your Garden in Sonoma County

With its distinct climate of wet winters and dry summers, Sonoma County offers numerous opportunities for aspiring gardeners to create stunning plantings with minimal care. If you don’t think you have a green thumb but would still like to enjoy some of Sonoma County’s native plants, such as the striking purple Western Redbud or the Island Snapdragon with its vivid colors, here is all you need to know about gardening in this area.

Spring Blossoms. Springtime, and the end of March in particular, is the best time to plant your summer bulbs like Gladiolus, Dahlia, Amaryllis, Lilies and Callas. Officially, the last frost date in Sonoma County is April 15th, so start pruning your summer-flowering shrubs (Crape Myrtles, for example), while planting your rhizomes and the rest of the summer flowers. Keep in mind that May is the windiest month in the area; better make sure any new plantings – trees, in particular – are properly staked!

Summer’s Bounty. Summertime is the best for mulching your garden, fertilizing the roses you planted during the winter, and adding any annuals to beds and containers. If you’re thinking about starting a winter vegetable garden, begin preparations in August, otherwise simply enjoy your summer garden!

Fall Favorites. Autumn is one of the busiest times for gardeners around the globe and Sonoma County is no exception. In the fall, start shopping for plants with good autumn colors, including the Autumn Sedum, Crape Myrtle, Crab Apples as well as Persimmons. This is the best time to plant California natives (think Epilobium, Red Maples, Chinese Pistachios and Ceanothus) to give your garden the stunning and distinct fall appearance.

Winter Musts. Once winter sets in, make sure you plant any remaining spring-blooming bulbs and prune the pines and other dormant conifers. January is traditionally the best time to plant fruit trees in the Sonoma County, as well as any bare-root shrubs. Prune your roses between New Year’s and Valentine’s Day, and start fertilizing them in the beginning of March.