September Gardening

  • Shrubs and trees
  • Work on a landscape plan for fall planting of trees and shrubs. Most of the planting should wait until late October and November, but supplies will be at their peak in garden centers.
  • Fertilize roses one last time
  • Prune rambler roses
  • Prune to remove any diseased and dead rose canes
  • Root prune wisteria that doesn't bloom  
  • Perennials, annuals, and bulbs
  • Plan spring bulb gardens and purchase bulbs. A variety of bulbs can have different heights and bloom times, so create your gardens accordingly. Most of the planting should wait until October, but supplies will be at their peak in garden centers.
  • Divide, transplant and label perennials. As these plants die back in the fall, it is a great
  • time to divide older plants. Complete divisions by mid October to allow the roots time to
  • establish themselves before winter. Be sure to keep newly divided plants watered.
  • If you’ve grown tender bulbs this summer such as caladium, dahlia, gladiolus this is the month to dig them and put them into storage for next year’s use.
  • Continue to take garden notes and /or photographs to plan future plantings.
  • Collect seed from perennials and annuals.
  • Continue to cut flowers for drying: yarrow, strawflower, gomphrena, cockscomb, etc
  • Remove and compost spent annuals and fallen leaves
  • Plant late season annuals like pansies, snapdragons, Dianthus chinensis, ornamental kale and cabbage for fall through spring color.  
  • Lawn care
  • De_thatch and core aerate existing lawns to promote root growth and improve fertilizer absorption and seed germination.
  • Lime lawns if a soil test indicates it is necessary.
  • Perk up your lawn by fertilizing with nitrogen fertilizers. These will speed lawn growth, thicken the lawn and improve its color.
  • If you have thin or bare areas in your lawn, seed and mulch them to reduce erosion and weeds.
  • Fall is also the time to introduce new, improved varieties or a tall_fescue blend. You should do your seeding by mid_October, but you can fertilize as late as mid_November.
  • Get your bermudagrass or Zoysia lawns ready for winter by increasing the cutting height this month. This helps buffer these grasses from cold damage.
  • Applying a fertilizer with potassium can also increase the hardiness of your warm season grasses to winter cold. Look for fertilizers formulated with a preemergence herbicide to prevent seeds of annual bluegrass and other winter weeds from germinating and competing with your grasses for light, nutrients and water.
  • If you find your lawn is too shady for grass, now would be a great time to remove lower limbs and "dead wood" from large trees greatly increasing the amount of light reaching your lawn.
  • Remove algae and moss from a shady lawn by raking or applying copper sulfate.
  • Since grasses growing in shade are usually weak and spindly, remove fallen leaves as soon as possible.  
  • Fruits and veggies
  • If rain is lacking, continue to practice water_wise techniques for your cool-season garden.
  • Add organic matter such as manure, compost and/or leaf mold to improve garden soils
  • Keep harvesting herbs, especially tender herbs like basil.
  • Make Pesto and freeze it, or put the basil in sealed plastic bags in the freezer.
  • Keep Harvesting tomatoes, peppers, etc. Harvest onions and garlic as soon as the tops fall over and begin to dry out.
  • You can still plant cool season crops including leaf lettuce, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, Swiss chard, parsley, and radishes.
  • Odds and ends
  • Don’t forget to go to the fair this month. It's fun to see the exhibits, and look at what other folks have raised. You can get good ideas of what varieties of plants to grow.
  • Bring house plants back indoors and inspect for insects. As the temperature begins to drop, watch your plants closely in the evening.
  • Continue to aerate and moisten compost pile to speed decomposition
  • Take in tender aquatic plants from ponds
  • Begin to feed birds

 

 

 

 

 

 

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