September Gardening & Landscaping Tips

As the summer season comes to a close and the fall season draws near, there is a lot of change happening in your garden and landscape. Plants needing care, cleaning up and (eek…we hate to say it), but prepped for winter! But fall is also a great time to plant. So check out our list of garden tips below to see what needs care, planting and more through the month of September and the beginning of autumn.

September Gardening Tips

  • Fall is planting season! Almost all deciduous shrubs and trees can be planted in the fall. Azaleas, Rhododendrons and small fruits are best planted in spring however. Container grown, balled-and-burlapped and bare-root plants are once again plentiful in nurseries and garden centers. The plants are not in bloom, but the labels should have good pictures. Consult with your local nursery about what, how and when to plant.
  • Plant evergreens during September, giving them plenty of time to establish roots well before our upcoming winter. Water them right up until the ground freezes.
  • This is the season for ornamental grasses. Most of them are at their best in fall; fully in bloom and taking center stage in the garden. They can add beautiful earth tones of fall to your landscape.
  • Now is the time to get mums. They will be colorful and cheery, flowering until frozen out later this fall.
  • Replace faded summer annuals with cold tolerant substitutes like pansies, kale and mums. They’ll survive a light frost and keep your planters bright and colorful.
  • Soak newly planted mums and fall annuals to settle the soil.
  • Spring flowering bulbs must be planted in the next couple of months. Decide where plants will go. Take a tour around the yard and imagine what various areas will look like in spring. Note what colors and heights you will need.
  • As soon as bulbs are available in the garden center display, they can be planted in the garden. Remove shabby annuals and plant bulbs. Leave the area bare or set hardy mums or kale over the bulbs for a spot of fall color.
  • When deciding what bulbs to plant, keep these things in mind: small bulbs are unobtrusive and will be out of the way early. Smaller things should be placed at the front so that they will not be hidden. Larger, taller kinds will last longer and the leaves will need to be tolerated until as late as June. Taller tulips or Daffodils can go to the back where their leaves will be hidden by other developing foliage.
  • If squirrels have found the bulb garden, cover it with a piece of chicken wire. Take it at the edges so the squirrels will be unable to get under it or pull it away.
  • Add nutrient rich compost or a fresh layer of mulch to your landscape beds. Organic matter feeds your plants.
  • Divide overgrown, spring blooming perennials. Be sure to keep them well watered this fall.
  • Daylilies and almost all other perennials can be divided in the fall. Peonies must be divided in the fall.
  • If you haven’t been already, don’t forget to harvest your abundant garden. Your hard work should be coming to fruition now as your garden’s bounty grows.
  • As soon as veggie and herb plants finish producing and begin to die down, pull them out.
  • Before they are frozen, some annuals can be brought indoors for the winter. Begonias, Browalia, Coleus, Geraniums and Gerberas may be worth keeping over. If you have a place indoors with enough light, they can grow all winter and you can set them back in the garden in spring. To do this, lift whole plants, knock the soil from the roots and pot them in artificial potting mix. Geraniums can be lifted and stored upside down in a cool, dark place in brown paper bags until spring.
  • As plants are being moved indoors, trim them to shape. Remove any damaged or broken stems. Pull off yellow leaves and leaves with holes or spots.
  • If you had placed houseplants outdoors for the spring and summer months, move the plants indoors now if you haven’t already. If possible, do this gradually, moving them first to an unheated porch.
  • As the days shorten, reduce the frequency of watering houseplants. They will not dry out as fast because they are not growing much. Keep the plants on the dry side, watering just to keep them from wilting.
  • Do not give up on weed control even where the garden is empty. Many of the garden weeds make seeds in the fall. If they get a chance, they will drop seeds, providing plenty of weeds next year. Continue to weed until late fall.
  • Autumn is the beginning of the season for the cool-weather grasses. They grow a lot in the cool weather of fall and again in the spring until it turns hot. Since this long period of growth allows the grass to recover from any injury, fall is time to core-aerate, power rake, reseed or sod.
  • As long as the plants are blooming, continue to remove faded flowers. Cut down the plants as soon as the foliage begins to deteriorate. Rake out dead leaves.
  • As the weather cools from the heat of summer, the rose flowers are larger and deeper colored. Since you spend less time in the garden at this time of the year, cut some of these blooms for indoor use.
  • Landscape roses can be planted all fall. It is an excellent time for planting. It is too late however to plant hybrid tea-type roses because there is insufficient time for them to become established before winter.

Have a garden or landscape question? Consult our Garden Center! Just give us a call at 262-537-2111 or stop in and let us help with your garden and landscaping needs.




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