TALKING GARDENING with DOUG – September Gardening Chores


September is the beginning of a very important time for gardening and planting. Like meteorology (weather), the first of September starts the fall planting season even though fall is not officially here until Saturday, the 22nd.

We have had rain throughout the summer. Depending on where you live we had nearly 5 inches of rain during the month of August. Our soil is not dry as we enter September. Yes, it would be nice to have fall-like temperatures to go along with all this rain.  But, lower temperatures will be coming soon.

This year, more than many of our past fall seasons, all this abundance of rain has created the “perfect storm” when it comes to the fall planting season. Why do you ask? The reason is that our soil is moist and our soil is warm = the “perfect storm.” Roots develop in moist, warm soil.

Here is a short list of gardening task that should be done in September:

LAWN CARE – September is the first month for the S. O. D. program. Now is the time to be seeding or overseeding your lawn with the cool season fescue grass seed and to apply your first application of a lawn starter fertilizer. Once you seed –  WATER, WATER, WATER daily until the seed has germinated and began to grow. You must keep the ground moist through this germination period.

FALL VEGETABLES – Oh, how I love fall, leafy vegetables. Now is the time to plant your fall vegetable garden with the cole crop vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, etc. These leafy vegetables enjoy the cooler, fall temperatures.

CONTAINER GARDENING – Fall is an exciting time to overhaul your container gardens with fall color. You can be very successful growing fall vegetables in containers as well. Fall Mums and pansies are beginning to show up now. Both mums and pansies can add rejuvenation to any container.

HOUSEPLANTS – Start getting ready to move all tropical houseplants back inside before temperatures drop below 50 degrees. You have plenty of time. Just start thinking about where you plan to place them once inside the house.

SOIL DRENCH FOR HOUSEPLANTS – With houseplants being outside, many outdoor critters, such as ants and pill bugs, may have taken up residency in the container soil. You don’t want these critters inside the house. While the plants are still outside, take a ¼ cup of Clorox bleach and add to a gallon of water. Slowly saturate the soil until water runs out of the drainage hole. Insects will leave the soil and, at the same time, this “recipe” will not do harm to the houseplants.

DIVIDING PERENNIALS – September is a good month to dig up and divide perennials such as iris, peonies, daylilies, and many others.

LANDSCAPING 101 – September is the beginning time to be planting spring flowering bulbs such as daffodils. As you plant your spring bulbs, remember that a mass planting of one flower type will produce a better effect than a mixture of many colors.



7 thoughts on “TALKING GARDENING with DOUG – September Gardening Chores”

    • Thank you for reading my blog and sending your question. Fall is the best season of all 4 to do planting. The main reason is that we are not stressed about being too dry and our soil temperature is warm which makes planting a lilac bush now ideal. By planting a lilac this fall, the plant has about 6 months in the ground to get established before it will bloom. At the time of planting I would strongly recommend that you add some Espoma Bio-Tone to the hole. Bio-Tone stimulates root growth. Take care, Doug

  1. Hello I am deval residing in Vienna. read your Block for September Gardening, would like to know wheter Clorex Chroline can apply to flower gardening to kill insects. if not please suggest what to use to get rid of insects. thanks

    • Deval,
      First, thank you for reading my blogs and then taking time to send me your question. I am not sure what type of insects you are trying to control on your flowers. But, no, I would not recommend spraying your flowers with Clorox to control insects. Clorox can be using safely as a soil drench in order to try to kill insects that are residing in the soil. The recipe is 1/4 cup of Clorox bleach to a gallon of water. Then water your plants with this solution until the water runs out of the drainage holes. For top spray of flowers I would recommend us an insecticidal soap product. Keep in mind that with any sprays the actual open flower can be damaged with the spray. Doug

  2. With all the rain expected this week with Florence, can we have too much rain for spreading grass seed? Is it Best to aerate first or if haven’t aerated, take advantage of forecast and spread the seed now… my lawn was aerated in the spring. Is early October aerating and spreading seed too late?

    • Elizabeth, Good question with seeding. Some of us, including myself, took the gamble and risk with over seeding our lawns earlier this week in order to take advantage of the predicted rain forecast for the weekend. If we got the torrential downpour then our gamble would have turned out to be disastrous with the seed washing away or washing in large clumps in the lower areas. But, now that you are waiting, our ground soil is nice and wet and soft to take advantage this coming week. I would still recommend aerating just to loosen up the compaction of the soil. I recommend putting down the seed and the first application of lawn starter fertilizer soon and not wait to far into October. You want to give the new grass seed time to germinate and grow before our tree leaves start to fall to heavily.

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