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September Gardening Tasks

September 1, 2010

Please note:  What I write in this space are lessons learned through trial and error, research, and from other gardeners and professionals. I garden in zone 9, but share garden experiences that I believe are relevant to most zones within a reasonable time frame and planting conditions.

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September

MaintenanceAdjust water timers for cooler weather conditions by reducing frequency or time. Check batteries. As winds arrive, keep up with debris and damaged branches. Fall is the best time to plant so start researching, shopping around for trees, shrubs, and perennials that best fit your climate, zone, space, and maintenance needs. Start a new compost pile or add to the old one.

Check and secure or replace old stakes.

Store seeds you’ve gathered and dried in glass jars in a cool, dry place. Be sure to label them with the date and name.

If you keep a garden journal, now is a good time to update your summer triumphs and disappointments. Include favorite and least-favorite annual flowers and vegetable varieties, and why. If you purchased vegetable seeds from a catalog, jot down the information for reordering. Include the seed company’s name and contact information, just in case the catalog is misplaced.

In the vegetable garden:  Plant and sow cool-season crops: artichoke (sold as bare root), cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, onions (right before rains), Brussels sprouts, beets, kale, peas (sweet and snap), carrots, radish, celery (cooking variety will grow year-round), turnip, mustard, parsley (Italian and curly can be grown all year), cilantro, spinach.

Transplant lettuce and strawberries.

In the landscapeRemove summer annuals. Add compost or manure to the soil. Late September, plant spring-blooming bulbs such as daffodils, narcissus, tulips, hyacinths, crocus, and iris. Avoid buying soft, moldy bulbs. They should be firm and plump. Once bulbs are in, plant fall annuals. These can include pansies, calendulas, snapdragons, violas, annual stock, California poppies, African daisies, bachelor’s buttons, forget-me-nots, Lobelia, alyssum, and Iceland poppies.

Divide old irises and perennials such as candytuft, daylily, agapanthus, and coreopsis after blooming. Before replanting, amend the soil.

Sow wildflower seeds. Treat roses for powdery mildew. Test for spider mites by shaking the plant over a white sheet of paper. Spray, if needed, with a recommended product from a reputable nursery.

Lay sod or sow seed for new lawns. Bare patches on old turfs can be seeded or filled in with sod.

Deadhead only summer-blooming shrubs.

Feed perennials and annuals one last time. Apply pre-emergent herbicide to lawns. Apply aluminum sulfate to hydrangeas for blue blossoms next year.

Copyright © 2010 Dianne Marie Andre 

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