Sept. 16, 2014 10:14 AM PT Facebook Twitter Show more sharing options Share Close extra sharing options Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email Copy Link URLCopied! Print Gardening expert Robert Smaus offers his Southern California planting and maintenance checklist. 1 Orange County September: Santa Ana winds blow in, so brace trees, reduce fire threat and water, water, water September can be too hot to think about fall planting -- or to do much of anything but water. 2 Lifestyle October: It’s prime planting season, so get those annuals, vegetables and Mediterranean shrubs in the ground Fall usually doesn’t arrive for gardeners until the middle of October at the earliest. 3 Lifestyle November: Take on those tricky California natives, hurry with the bulbs and vegetables Days are getting short and nights cool, but keep on planting because it’s still the best season for just about anything, including spring bulbs and California natives. 4 California December: Compost leaves, tidy your tools, then enjoy the holiday Fall is officially over in December, but the planting season continues right into January. 5 Lifestyle January: Bare-root roses, fruit trees, berry vines and California natives January is historically a dry month in the garden, so most years it is a fine time to plant roses and deciduous fruit trees, such as apples and plums. 6 Lifestyle February: Plant roses, fruits trees and camellias, and don’t forget to prune Historically, February is often our rainiest month, so it is not a busy time for gardeners. 7 Lifestyle March: Try new perennials, shrubs and vines, and keep those pests at bay Spring has arrived, though officially not until the 21st. 8 Lifestyle April: Get a jump on citrus and tomatoes, attend to bougainvillea As the days lengthen and the sun gets higher and hotter, watering becomes more important. 9 June: There’s a bright side to the gloom. Plant those last blasts of summer color June may be famous for its gloom, but gray skies let gardeners plant the last of the summer crops and flowers. 10 Lifestyle July: Keep sprinklers in good repair, irrigate deeply and don’t let container plants go dry in the heat Find a place in the shade, pour yourself a tall iced tea and take July off. 11 Lifestyle August: Map out a new design, sow seeds, try winter tomatoes Even if the heat comes blasting into your corner of Southern California, there’s plenty to do.