Summer is slowly starting to turn its back away, and September is one of the key months for your garden.
Lawn, vegetable patch, flowers, trees and shrubs all clamor for special attention, and this short list will help you satisfy them all without any undue worries.
Summer heat waves are now a thing of the past, and plants can stop holding their breath and start growing again. Shrubs renew with a second yearly growth phase, the vegetable patch offers magnificent vegetables and most fruits are now ripe for the picking.
Flowers, a bit less numerous in this season, are nonetheless of higher quality whereas autumn plants start appearing left and right.
For each of the major topics below, follow our September gardening advice.
- Dethatching your lawn is something that is best done in September, to give your grass a boost while there’s still growing left in the season.
This will help control weeds and eliminate accumulated moss that has inched its way along since spring.
The lawn often dries up and turns brown in summer, forming a carpet of dried grass that is best removed since it keeps water from draining into the ground properly.
- Great timing to sow a new lawn or replenish bare patches.
If you have plans to rejuvenate your lawn or sow a new one from scratch, September is the perfect month to get about it.
- Provide special lawn fertilizer – organic fertilizer is very effective nowadays – to speed the growth phase and nicely make your lawn green again.
- Mow often, up to once every three days if you can.
However, since sometimes the weather still gets hot in September, wait for the grass to have recovered its green color before mowing again.
September in the vegetable patch
- Continue harvesting summer vegetables (tomato, zucchini, cucumbers, eggplant) while picking your first autumn produce (squash, cabbage, lettuce, arugula).
- Keep watering on dry days without getting any leaves wet. Best water in the late afternoon rather than in the evening because the weather starts getting cooler at night.
- Start removing leaves from your tomato plants, picking them from the ground up, especially leaves that overshadow the fruits.
This simple practice will expose your tomatoes to more sun, speed their ripening and let them grow a bit larger still.
- Pull your potato out, one plant at a time, as you see the stems dry up and fall over. Store them in a cool, ventilated and rather dark place.
Darkness will help your potatoes keep for a much longer time.
- In September, start sowing your winter crops: onion, sorrel, spinach, turnip, radish, leek and uncommon but delicious endive.
Start preventing the following year’s diseases like septoria spotting by collecting infected leaves and burning them. This is especially important for tomato and other Solanaceae plants (potato, physalis).
Fruit trees in September
- Harvest your apples and pears, grapes and plums.
Ripe fruits must easily break off the tree.
For pears especially, which are delicate fruits, don’t wait for the fruits to fall to the ground, pick them right from the branch.
- Plant strawberry plants.
- Get ready to prune black and red currant bushes in September.
– First clear the center of the shrub, because having light penetrate to the center is crucial.
– Remove branches that are tangled together.
– Balance the rest of the bush to give it a nice shape that looks like a bowl.
- Cut back perennials that aren’t bearing flowers anymore.
Plant new perennials for the following year, spacing them well to ensure they have sufficient growing space.
- Remove wilted flowers from annual flowers, you’ll see that they’ll keep blooming.
- You’ll experience high success rates now if you prepare cuttings from the following plants: roses, hydrangea, geraniums, anthemis, fuchsia plants, impatiens, lantana and geraniums and storksbills.
- Harvest seeds from your hollyhock, French marigold, nasturtium, marigold, dahlia, gaillardia, cleome, lupine, ornamental tobacco, crocosmia, lychnis.
Dry them and store them in an opaque jar. They can be replanted in the following spring.
- Propagate your peonies in September by dividing the current flower clump.
- Provide fertilizer to your rose trees.
- Transplant biennials sown in August directly to the ground.
- Stop watering your heath plants or heather to trigger the next blooming.
Trees and shrubs in September
- Provide special heath plant fertilizer for your rhododendrons and azalea.
- Prune the shrubs that flower in the summer.
- Prune your hedges before winter frost spells set in.
- Start thinking about where your next crops will grow.
Here are ideas for flowered hedges or evergreen hedges.
Roses in September
- Treat against rust with a fungus-deterring product.
- Add rose-specific fertilizer.
- Here are all the diseases, parasites and treatments that occur in rose trees.
Terrace, balcony, decks in September
- Keep up the regular watering of your plants and provide fertilizer for your perennials.
- Pull out your annuals, taking great care to also dispose of the soil mix because you’ll want to plant fall-blooming flowers like chrysanthemum.
- You can also start planting spring bulbs if you’ve got spare time.
All right, all is set! Autumn can arrive! This is a season that begets fabulous variety in the garden, with swirls of warm colors and striking deep green growth. Whatever the size of your green area, be it a simple corner of the balcony and terrace or a breathtaking landscape from a mansion-like park, you’ll be perfectly set up to breath in the most beautiful season of the year.
September garden tasks on social media
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Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Rake and leaves by Peggy Choucair under Pixabay license
On social media, leaves falling by Laszlo Zakarias under Pixabay license