September’s Garden Notes

September is a month for sunflowers, County Fairs, Community Shows, and hopefully, cooler and less rainy weather. It is also a very busy month for the gardener. It is time to take a few minutes to see what we have accomplished this growing season. Take some photos of your works of art! The harvest and the preservation of your garden vegetables is almost over, but you can still share the last veggies and some of the beautiful cut flowers from your garden with family and friends. September can be one of the busiest months, and here are some suggestions:

Photo by Katie Grimm
  • Stop pruning and fertilizing shrubs, so that new growth develops.

  • Bring the house plants that have been on vacation outside inside while the windows are still open. Be sure to check the plants for insects.

  • Start fall clean-up in the flower beds by cutting any diseased branches or plant parts, and placing them in a bag and putting them in the garbage, not in the compost pile. Leave the large seed heads of the sunflowers, coneflowers, and Black-eyed Susans for the winter birds.

  • Start winterizing the water garden

  • Turn the compost pile

  • Dig and store tender bulbs like dahlias and cannas

  • Harvest the green tomatoes just before frost, wrap them in newspaper, and place them in a cool dark place to ripen

  • Clean up fallen fruit from the fruit tree to prevent rodents from moving in to feed, and disease from spreading

  • Don’t forget that all important “Soil Test,” if you have not had one in 3-4 years. Many plant problems come from soil deficiencies.

  • Leave hummingbird feeders out until October. Those little fellows are still migrating through the county

  • Check on the cool weather crop seedlings. Things like spinach, peas, kale, turnips should be up.

  • Continue to divide and plant perennials such as daylilies, liriope, and echinacea

See! There is still a lot going on in the garden, and a lot for the gardener to do before the October 15th first frost date for Frederick County. I hope the gardens have been bountiful and beautiful this year, making you eager to start again in the spring. Experience is a great teacher, and the new gardening lessons you learned this year will lead to greater success next year.

Article by Dawne Howard, FCFCDB Member

Nature note for 9/16/2018