September Gardening Tips

September is a month to reap rewards of your hard work this summer!

Birds

  • The birds will soon begin their winter migrations.
  • Give them a helping hand by providing them with some food for their long journey.
  • No one likes to travel on an empty stomach, and you may even persuade a few of them to stick around for the winter, if they know they have a reliable food source!

Trees and Shrubs

  • Fall is an ideal time to select and plant trees and shrubs.  Fall planting encourages good root development, allowing the plants to get established before spring. If weather is dry, provide water up until the ground freezes.
  • When transplanting, use a Bonemeal to help establish a strong root system. Water in well and keep the ground moist until late October or early November when the ground starts to freeze.

Annuals

  • Flowering Kale, and fall mums may be planted now, to give a little color to the garden when the summers flowers have faded away.
  • Pull out any faded or frost-killed varieties and add to the compost pile.

Perennials

  • Lift and divide overcrowded perennials.
  • As the weather cools, perennials which have overgrown their space or become crowded should be dug and divided, or moved to a new area of the garden. New or replacement perennials can also be planted this month.
  • Mark your perennials with permanent tags, or create a map showing their locations so you’ll know where and what they are when they die back at the end of the season. This will help you to avoid digging up something you intended to keep when you plant bulbs and plants this fall and next spring.

Bulbs

  • Tender bulbs should be dug up, dry the roots, and stored in a cool, dark area after first frost.
  • Spring forward…plant fall bulbs now for outstanding spring blooms!
  • During the fall months of September, October and November, the bulbs of spring flowering tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and crocus should be planted. Add Bonemeal, Chicken Manure or Bulb fertilizer into the planting hole, as you prepare the soil.

Roses

  • Clean up any fallen or diseased foliage and leave some spent blooms to form hips for winter interest

Veggies

  • Harvesting fruits and vegetables is the best part of growing them.
  • As is often the case, you may have produced more of a certain type than your family can consume. Share the abundance of squash and tomatoes with friends and neighbours or the Food Bank!
  • Although most fruits and vegetables are best when eaten fresh on the day they’re picked, you can extend the season by freezing, drying, storing, or canning.
  • Fruits and vegetables should be checked regularly for ripeness. A little practice and experience will tell you when your produce is at it’s peak of flavour, and that is when it should be harvested.
  • Once the tops of onions have withered, the bulbs should be lifted and dried in a warm, dry, sunny location for about 10 days. Then they should be stored in a cool, dark, dry place.

Herbs

  • It’s time to pot up tender herbs such as rosemary to overwinter and get ready to harvest herbs for drying.

Lawns

  • When the fall rains arrive, fertilize your lawn with a slow-release Fall Lawn Food (6-8-14) fertilizer.  This helps to prepare your lawn for cold weather, giving you a healthy green lawn next spring.  Potassium (for cell division and hardiness) is most important at this time of year to help strengthen the lawn against wear and disease while preparing it for the harsh winter months ahead.  As a result, this will help your lawn green up faster next spring
  • September is one of the best months of the entire year for seeding or sodding new lawns.
  • If the lawn needs dethatching, it can be done during the early fall.

Container Plants

  • Pot up some spring flowering bulbs for indoor color during the winter. Store the pots in a cool, dark place, until new growth emerges from the soil, and then move them to a bright window.

Jobs

  • Continue to watch for insect, slug and snail, or disease damage throughout the garden, and take the necessary steps to control the problem.
  • One last effort at weeding will help to improve the appearance of your garden throughout the winter.