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Sept 2011 In Your Garden

Fall PlanterSo far this September is shaping up rather nicely! 

Perhaps this is the make-up part of the summer for the less than glorious beginning.  At any rate I’ll gratefully take it!  September is one of those catch 22 situations.  If the weather remains good, the summer baskets and pots continue to thrive and I am reluctant to make them over into fall/winter baskets. 

The catch for me is that all of the new and lovely fall and winter plants and bulbs start coming in to the nursery now but by November when the pots on my front steps were looking so bad that my paper lady started leaving the newspaper by the garage doors because she was afraid to walk by the pots of haggard looking annuals and one brave lingonberry which were by then covered with left-over Halloween cobwebs, plastic spiders and one very realistic fake rat.

The new little plants that I quickly stuffed in the pots didn’t have much time to root in before the freeze. 

This year its going to be different, I will not scare the paper lady…though I can’t vouch for the dogs.  I’ll put the new stuff in BEFORE Halloween…really.

Here’s the list:Fall Planting

  • Keep watering the pots, make sure they have time to dry out before evening to prevent powdery mildew.
  • Deadhead fall perennials such as Rudbeckia and Gaillardia.  Tidy the flower border, but do allow some stems and fallen leaves to remain as many native bees and other pollinators overwinter in hollow stems and leaves.
  • Tidy up spent annuals as needed.  Allow some to go to seed if you’d like a go at planting from seed next year. 
  • Continue to tidy your roses, clipping and deadheading as needed.  You can take cuttings at this time of many shrubs such as roses and hydrangeas.
  • Check out the new bulb selections and plan to plant them once it cools off and the soil gets a bit of rain. (the best selection of bulbs is available in early September through October!)
  • Continue to harvest, don’t forget the late blackberry crop…its free!  You can also sow leafy greens and some herbs as well for winter and early spring crops.  My apple and pear crops are about 3 weeks late this year. 
  • Continue to harvest fall Raspberries and cut any spent canes.  You can do the same for many other berries such as thornless Blackberries and Tayberries, removing many of the old canes and encouraging the new.  Continue to harvest late Blueberries if you are lucky enough to have some.  Elliott is one of the latest producing – going into October if the weather is with you.
  • Begin to think about bringing in your patio tropicals by the end of the month.  Don’t forget a quarrantine area to prevent spread of any insects.  I keep them apart from the rest of the house plants for 2-3 weeks and inspect them before bringing them into general population.  Still haven’t managed to kill the darn poinsettia for the second summer…though I may have come close this year – but its come back better than ever. 
  • Now is your second window of opportunity to renovate your lawn.  You can aerate, topdress and overseed followed by a fall fertilizer if your lawn needs help.  You can also add lime to that if your soil is very acidic. 
  • Take stock of your garden beds and make a list of any bare areas while the garden is looking full.  Consider filling with some grasses for texture and movement.  Middle of next month is your second window of opportunity for planting trees, shrubs and hardy perennials.
  • Begin to tidy up ponds towards the end of the month.  Remove old leaves, spent lillies and spent floating plants if frost melts them. 
Nice Plants for September

Don’t forget to sit back, just for even a minute and enjoy the fruits of all your hard work this season (yes Gail and John, that means you too)!  September will whip by in no time so enjoy these last few days of official and unofficial summer.

Author: Laurelle O. Source: Arts Nursery Ltd.

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