Monthly Garden Schedule by Zone

Zone 9 - Monthly Garden Calendar: Chores and Planting Guide

Zone 9 - Monthly Garden Calendar: Chores and Planting Guide

Planting by USDA Plant Hardiness Zone is a good starting point to get a handle on what you should be thinking of planting and when. If you pair this overview of gardening tasks by zone with experience, local knowledge, and good yearly note-taking, then you should have an effective annual gardening calendar!

Zone 9


Vegetable gardening for Zone 9 is nearly year round, so while other zones are still itching to get started, the gardeners in this zone can get right to work! Be sure to stay on top of your garden chores as well so tasks don’t get out of control. 

  • Make plans for the coming season's garden. Decide where your crops will rotate from last year, and start carpentry projects like cold frames, trellises, and indoor lighting setups if possible. 
  • Get your seed potatoes planted. 
  • Plant your seeds for dianthus, violas, and snapdragons outside.
  • Direct sow beets, carrots, Swiss chard, kohlrabi, leaf lettuce, mustard greens, onion sets, parsnips, peas, radishes, spinach, and turnips.
  • If you haven’t already, order seed catalogs now. For variety, consider companies that specialize in open-pollinated and heirloom varieties
  • Look over last year's planting, fertilizing, and spraying records. Make notes to reorder successful varieties as well as those you wish to try again.
  • Add garden recordkeeping to the list of New Year's resolutions with a garden journal. Make a note of which varieties of flowers and vegetables do best and which do poorly in your garden.
  • If you haven’t already, now is a great time to plant or prune your fruit trees, berry bushes, and other woody ornamentals. You want to complete this while they’re still dormant and before spring growth begins.
  • Be ready to cover tender plants to minimize damage from frost. Freezes are likely this month and next.
  • Use this time to give your indoor houseplants a good cleaning. Dust settles on leaves and clogs "pores," hindering light penetration as well as gas and moisture exchange. Wipe off leaves with a rag soaked in water with diluted scent-free soap. 
  • Gather all of your seed starting equipment together so you’ll be ready to go. You will need lights, heat mats, sterile medium, and your preferred pot type.


Continue succession planting your cool season veggies while you can. Getting your annual flowers started now is great, too. February is also the perfect month to check on your perennial landscaping plants.

  • Plants that perform better in the cooler months include dianthus, strawflower, and lobelia. Protect them from frosts and freezing temperatures with frost cloth. 
  • Many flower bulbs can be planted now. Provide adequate water for establishment and protect from cold weather with mulch. 
  • Continue plantings of your cool season crops. 
  • You can also get your eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes started inside. 
  • Give cold-damaged palm trees proper care to encourage their recovery.
  • Check your citrus trees for scab disease. Apply a copper fungicide when new leaves appear and again when two-thirds of the flower blossoms have fallen.
  • If you haven’t already, fertilize your fruit trees now.


The average last frost in Zone 9 is March 1st, so get ready to plant out all your summer crops soon! Because the growing season is so long, everything can be direct seeded outside, however finicky solanaceous plants like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant can be transplanted as well. Remember that this is an average last frost, so keep an eye on the weather just in case you get a late freeze! 

  • Plant an array of culinary and medicinal herbs now. In addition to their culinary value, many herbs are ornamental and attract butterflies to the garden.
  • You can keep starting okra, squash, cucumber, melons, and watermelons indoors. Sow vining crops in individual peat pots since these do not transplant well if roots are disturbed.
  • If the forecast looks good, sow seeds outdoors of beans, okra, squash, sweet corn, Southern peas, asparagus beans, and watermelon later in the month. Plant only partial rows of beans and sweet corn so that successive plantings can be done every week or two. Sweet corn should be planted in paired rows or blocks for good pollination.
  • Direct sow sunflowers, nasturtiums, marigolds, borage, basil, and other warm season flowers and herbs.
  • Keep all the seeds you direct sow well watered out in the garden. This will help with germination and establishment.
  • Have a trellis system in place for your tomato patch before the plants begin to sprawl.
  • Fertilize palms, azaleas, camellias, and other ornamental shrubs if needed.
  • Keep “hilling up” potatoes.
  • Be sure to harvest leafy greens often because they will soon bolt.


Stay on top of harvests this April! Your cool weather veggies are going to start to bolt, so harvest them until they do and then pull them out. Try planting a summer cover crop to give the soil a little boost before you plant new crops again! It’s getting real hot out there so make sure to stay on top of watering too.

  • Continue adding to your herb and flower garden. Try nasturtiums! The leaves and flowers add a peppery zest to salads.
  • Continue planting warm season, heat-loving crops such as beans, corn, and squash directly into the garden. 
  • For anything already fruiting, stay on top of harvests to ensure they keep producing for as long as they can.  
  • Mulch your whole garden well to prevent weeds and conserve moisture. 
  • Stay consistent with watering, especially if the weather has been dry.
  • Watch out for pests on your vegetable and landscaping plants! 
  • Identify and conserve beneficial insects. Some insects such as ladybugs, spiders, and bees should be encouraged in your yard!


May can be a slower month in Zone 9! Continue harvesting and plant only the crops that can take the extreme heat. Watch out for pests and manage them as they come. 

  • Heat loving favorites to plant now are okra, Southern peas, summer spinach, and sweet potatoes.
  • Watch for thrips, scale, and mites on plants because they become more active in warm weather.
  • Keep an eye on your tomato plants and search for any pest or disease problems. As leaves show signs of disease, remove them and throw them in the trash (not your compost pile). Any unwanted pests can be fed to your chickens.
  • Prepare for hurricane season by checking trees for damaged or weak branches and pruning if needed.


Similarly to May, June can be a slow time in the garden. You can plant some crops, stay on top of watering, and watch out for pests. Your tomatoes are probably beginning to ripen (or will be soon!) so harvest them before any thirsty birds or animals come looking for a sweet and hydrating snack.  

  • Summer's warm, rainy months are the perfect time to plant palms. Make sure not to cover the trunk with soil.
  • Plant another round of okra, Southern peas, summer spinach, and sweet potatoes.
  • It is too late to plant tomatoes for your summer garden, but you can start them from seed again later in the month for your fall garden. 
  • Monitor the landscape and check the garden weekly for pests. 
  • Lightly prune summer-flowering shrubs, like hibiscus, oleander, and crapemyrtle because they bloom on new growth. Azaleas can still be pruned until the middle of next month without harming next spring's buds.
  • Some municipalities prohibit the application of fertilizer to lawns and/or landscape plants during the summer rainy season (June–September). See if such an ordinance exists in your area.
  • Clean up any unused growing space and solarize the soil to kill pests and disease.


Start thinking about your fall garden now. Clean up any sections of the garden that you want to plant in again by pulling weeds and perhaps solarizing! Keep an eye on your newer perennial plants to make sure they’re doing okay in the heat.

  • While summer is too hot to direct sow herbs outside, you can start them inside where it’s cooler to transplant into your fall garden.
  • Continue planting palms while the rainy season is in full swing. Support large palms with braces for six to eight months after planting. Nails should not be driven directly into palm trunks.
  • Sow a round of winter squash and pumpkins for Halloween! Downy mildew and other issues may arise in the rainy season so keep an eye out for that. 
  • Okra and Southern peas can still be planted.
  • Some municipalities prohibit the application of fertilizer to lawns and/or landscape plants during the summer rainy season from June through September. See if such an ordinance exists in your area.
  • Use summer heat to solarize the unused vegetable garden for fall planting. It takes four to six weeks to kill weeds, diseases, and nematodes, so start now.
  • Check citrus trees for damage to their fruit or leaves and take action to minimize the effect of insects and/or disease.


The plan that you dreamed up in July for your fall garden? Put it into action now. Clear out those beds, start some seeds, and later in the month start planning for your cool weather crops. These are the hottest days of summer so outdoor planting is really limited.

  • Start eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes inside again for the fall garden. 
  • Later in the month direct sow bush beans, cucumbers, summer squash, carrots, and beets into the garden for fall.
  • In late August and early September, start seeds indoors for cool weather heading Brassicas like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.
  • Check older palm fronds for yellowing as it may indicate a magnesium or potassium deficiency. Apply an appropriate palm fertilizer.
  • Pinch back poinsettias and mums before the end of the month to allow time for buds to form for a winter bloom.
  • Fertilize plants that show signs of deficiencies. Rapid growth and simultaneous nutrient-leaching rains may result in nutrient deficiencies in some plants.
  • Remove spent blooms, cut back, and fertilize flowering annuals and perennials to extend the bloom season into the fall months.


September is exciting in Zone 9 because it’s like a fresh start! There’s been very little to plant the last couple of months, and now you can do a second round of just about everything! Get those goods in the ground!

  • Prepare the fall vegetable garden if not done in August. Starting seeds indoors or buying transplants will get the garden off to a fast start. 
  • Plant herbs that tolerate the warm temperatures of early fall, such as basil.
  • Numerous cool season vegetable crops can be started from seed again indoors for a second crop. Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts can all be seeded if you haven’t already. 
  • Beans, beets, carrots, cucumbers, kale, lettuce, peas, and spinach can all be direct seeded outdoors in September.
  • Divide and replant perennials and bulbs that have grown too large or need rejuvenation. Add organic matter to new planting areas and monitor water needs while they’re getting established.
  • Fertilize citrus with a balanced fertilizer either this month or in October. If the weather has been rainy, do not use soluble nitrogen as rains will leach it from the soil too quickly.


There’s still so much growing left to do! Prepare and plant the cool weather crops you plan to overwinter if you haven’t already. 


You’re likely getting your last outdoor plantings of the year in the ground this month and preparing for the first frost next month. Things keep moving in the garden from November to January in Zone 9 so be sure to keep on top of your tasks! 


The average first frost date for Zone 9 is December 15th! Cole crops like Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, collards, and kale are made sweeter by frost, so don’t pull them out yet. Harvest them as long as possible. You can also put up a low tunnel to extend the season.

  • Consider gifting memberships to local botanical gardens, arboretums, or nature centers for the holidays. They are dual purpose gifts, supporting the organization while providing thoughtful, lasting gifts to your family and friends.
  • Prepare early in the month to protect tender plants should cold weather threaten them.
  • Collect soil samples now for testing to prepare for next year’s fertilization of the lawn, vegetable garden, shrub border, and flower beds. Submit separate samples for distinct areas used to grow different types of plants and where growing conditions are different for the same plants. A shady lawn area on a slope should be a different sample than a sunny lawn area.
  • Continue monitoring pest infestations and treat as needed. Cool weather typically means pest populations die back, but it’s still a good idea to keep an eye on it. 
  • Empty, clean, and store planters where they will be dry for the winter.
  • Spread manure, sawdust, straw, and shredded leaves over the garden and plow them under. You'll be surprised at the difference this organic matter will make in the fertility, physical structure, and water-holding capacity of the soil.
  • Oil and store gas-powered equipment like lawn mowers and leaf blowers.
  • Order seed catalogs now for garden planning in January. For variety, consider companies that specialize in open-pollinated and heirloom varieties. 
  • This is your last chance to plant softneck garlic!
  • Clean garden tools with a wire brush and apply a light coat of oil to protect them from rusting. Sharpen edges of hoes and spades. Clean, readjust, and sharpen the blades of pruning tools. Lightly sand handles and then apply a coat of linseed oil, or paint your handles a bright color like red or orange which will make them easier to spot should you lay them in the grass.
  • Drain the fuel tank of the lawn mower or tiller before putting the machine away for the winter.
  • Start reviewing and expanding your garden notes to help with next year's plans. 
  • Continue to harvest Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, and collards.
  • Spread mulch over beds where early spring crops will grow.

This article was updated on 3/28/24. 


Article Written by: Angie Lavezzo

About the Author: Angie Lavezzo is the former general manager of Sow True Seed. Beyond her professional role at Sow True, Angie's passion for gardening extends into personal hands-on experience, fostering plants and reaping bountiful harvests.