September Gardening Tips


Planning:

  • Complete ordering spring- flowering bulbs and other plants for fall planting
  • Continue to assess areas in the garden which may need additional planting
  • Continue to work on a landscape plan for fall planting of trees and shrubs
  • Continue to take garden notes and /or photographs to plan future plantings

Chores and Maintenance:

  • If rain is still lacking continue to practice water-wise horticultural techniques
  • De -thatch and aerate existing lawns to promote root growth
  • Mow lawns regularly to keep grass at 2 ½" height
  • Complete lawn restoration before September 15
  • Collect seed from perennials and annuals
  • Continue to cut flowers for drying: yarrow, strawflower, gomphrena, cockscomb, etc
  • Remove and compost spent annuals and fallen leaves
  • Continue to aerate and moisten compost pile to speed decomposition
  • Continue to check for insect pests and treat accordingly
  • Continue to remove any fallen leaves and debris which can harbor insect pests and disease organisms
  • Continue to apply deer repellent
  • Take in tender aquatic plants and tropical fish from ponds
  • Begin to feed birds

Planting:

  • Plant and transplant broad-leaved and needle-leaved evergreens through October 15
  • Continue to propagate herbs from new growth and transplant into pots for winter use
  • Continue to divide and transplant early-blooming perennials
  • Divide daylilies after flowering
  • Plant lilies
  • Sow hardy annuals in prepared planting beds
  • If weather is cool, begin planting spring- flowering bulbs but wait until late October to plant tulips
  • Plant late season annuals like ornamental kale and cabbage for fall color
  • Sow parsley, radish, lettuce, carrot and onion
  • Complete planting out seedling biennials

Pruning/Fertilizing:

  • Prune rambler roses
  • Prune to remove any diseased and dead rose canes
  • Root prune wisteria that doesn't bloom
  • Add organic matter such as manure, compost and/or leaf mold to improve garden soils
  • Fertilize roses one last time
  • Fertilize lawns with organic fertilizer to stimulate winter root development

Indoors:

  • If frost threatens, take in houseplants and pinch back houseplants before returning them indoors
  • Check houseplants for insect pests and treat as necessary before bringing them in
  • Begin to force poinsettias for Christmas. Move indoors to a sunny location and cover for 14 hours each night for a period of 6-10 weeks
  • Take cuttings of begonias, geraniums, solenstemon (coleus), etc. to grow on as houseplants

* These gardening tips are applicable for the southeastern New York region - USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 6a and 6b which include New York City, northern New Jersey, Rockland county, Westchester county, southern Connecticut and parts of Long Island. Plant hardiness zones refer to geographic areas where the growing season of plants is determined by the time of killing frosts in the spring and fall. If you live in a more southerly plant hardiness zone, you can start gardening earlier in the season or in more northerly zones, you can start later. Even within zones, climatic factors such as altitude, proximity to water, wind exposure, winter sun exposure and snow cover contribute to the existence of different "microclimates" and can influence plant adaptability.

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