Your September Garden To Do List

September is the perfect time to transition the garden from summer to fall. The air is a little cooler, the nights are delightful, and there is more rain available for plants to take off. The diminishing hours of light means that some plants are beginning to fade while other are coming on strong.

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.

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

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

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.

Pot up and bring some of your favorite herbs indoors. parsley, rosemary, chives, thyme and marjoram do well like this.

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.

Lawns may be topdressed with compost or milorganite now. This is best done after aerifying.

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

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