September To Do

When the cool nights and the warm days start to work their way into our lives, you can bet September is here. Not only does the weather change, the season changes as well. The first day of Autumn is fast approaching and will usher in on September 22nd. Here is a list of things to get done during these early days of Fall.

In the Perennial Garden
• Start working on cutting your perennial flowers back to the ground. Make sure not to cut the green leaves at the base of the plant as these will be gathering sun energy until the fall frosts come to claim them. If you have old flowers with seed heads, consider leaving those up for the winter birds to eat from.
• If your perennials are more than 3 years old, divide them to help the overall health of the plant. With your spade, dig into the middle of the plant to cut it in half. Dig one half out, leaving the other in the ground. Distribute the divided plants throughout your garden, share the divided plants with other friends or consider donating them to your local community garden.
• Planting bulbs is next on the list. If planted this fall, they will make their glorious appearance the following spring. To boost your flower power, use Espoma’s Bulb Tone in the hole to help feed them when they start to stir in the warm spring soil.

In the Vegetable Garden
• Clean up the old plants from the summer garden. This ensures that disease won’t hang about and lessens the chance of it making an appearance next year. Make sure to get as much fallen fruit as you can off the soil surface to avoid volunteer plants popping up the following year.
• Work on getting those cool season veggies planted. The later you put this off, the more you should consider planting already started seedlings from the garden center.
• Pick up fruit off the ground under the fruit trees. Recycle them in the compost for future use.

Pests and Diseases
• Fall Webworm – These little pests form webs in the trees on branches. There are 2 ways to deal with them. Cut them out of the tree or use a pesticide. If you prefer organic, use the bacterium BT. If you prefer synthetic, reach for the Sevin.
• Bagworms – Check out all evergreens for the tale-tale signs of bagworms. Pick all bags off by hand and dunk in boiling hot soapy water.
• Garden Spiders – Leave them be. They’ll take care of many insects including the notoriously hated stink bug.

Miscellaneous Things to do
• Start winterizing your water gardens. This includes adding nets to keep the fall leaves out, cleaning, and moving hardy plants to the deep end.
• Aerate and over-seed your lawn. Check out our wide variety of turf seed.
• Plant trees and shrubs. Fall is the best time for planting as root growth is happening and water is not evaporating quickly out of the ground.
• Pull up any dead plants.
• Cut suckers off tree trunks and roots.

September is a very busy time in the world of landscape and gardening. Not only do plants need our help to look better, but they also for protection from impending winter weather. I know this seems like a long list of things to get done this month, but with diligence and planning your landscape can come out looking better than ever the following Spring.