Your September List Of Things To Get Done In The Garden

Breathe deep. We made it through the dog days and are on to cooler weather. Summer is a wonderful time of the year but there is nothing like the crispness of autumn. Great things ahead – apples, football and spectacular fall colors. The following is a list of garden tasks to help your garden be all that it can be in the month of September.

Plant perennials and shrubs.

Feed and dead-head your hanging basket and container plants – they will often keep going until the first frosts.

Start to divide herbaceous perennials as the weather cools. Make sure you water in the new divisions well.

Plant hyacinth and amaryllis bulbs for forcing, to ensure a crowd of colorful blooms at Christmas. Perfect for a homemade Christmas present!

September is a good time to plant new perennials as the soil is still warm but there is generally more rainfall.

Prune climbing roses once they’ve finished flowering (unless they are repeat-flowering, in which case leave them).

Keep your Camellias and Rhododendrons well-watered at this time of year to ensure that next year’s buds develop well.

Keep harvesting crops. If you have a glut of fruit and veg try freezing, drying, pickling, and storing so that you can benefit from them later on.

Spread newly dug potatoes out to dry for a few hours before storing them in in a cool dark place. Store them in paper sacks as this will allow the crop to breathe while it is in storage. Only store undamaged, disease free tubers – one rotten potato can ruin your whole crop!

Help your pumpkins ripen in time for Halloween by removing any leaves shadowing the fruits.

Place pumpkins and squashes on a piece of slate or wood to raise them off the wet soil and prevent rotting.

Direct sow seeds of lettuce, greens, onions, peas, beans and broccoli.

When beans and peas finish cropping simply cut the plant away at ground level, leaving the roots in the soil. These crops fix nitrogen which is slowly released into the soil as the roots break down.

Tidy up your strawberry plants and clear away any used straw, as this will harbor pests and diseases over winter.

Pick blackberries and fall raspberries as they ripen and use straight away or freeze some for use later on.

To test when apples are ripe gently lift them in the palm of your hand or give them a gentle pull – they should come away easily.

Create a new lawn from turf or seed – autumn weather is favorable for good lawn establishment.

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