September is the beginning of meteorological autumn and time to start thinking about apples, school, and pumpkin-spiced everything. So far the weather seems cooperative enough and the days will get shorter, cooler, and crisper.
Here are five things you can knock out in the garden while the weather is pleasant this September:
1. Plant fall veggies.
Leafy greens will love the cooler weather. In the right sunny spot, greens can produce even in winter. Once your summer vegetable garden finishes up, clear it out and send it to the compost pile.
2. Control weeds.
Fall annuals like chickweed will be popping up now. Pull them out and mulch or use a post- and pre-emergent to get rid of them in larger open areas.
3. Improve your lawn.
Now is a good time to over-seed the lawn or to establish a new lawn. It is not too late to kill off weeds in the lawn. Fall is actually a great time to apply a post-emergent herbicide. If you wait a week or two, it is possible to over-seed existing lawns while the weeds are dying. Please always read the labels on any chemical controls and use the recommended rates.
4. Do some light pruning.
Any shrub or perennial that may be looking a bit shabby can always be trimmed up at any time. Just pay attention when pruning any shrubs that flower. Think about when they bloom. Don’t shear and shape azalea, for example, or you will be cutting off potential flowers for next spring. Hand pruning out some dead or snipping off a few long stems is no problem. A little trimming of the berry-producing shrubs like viburnum and various hollies can help show off the bounty.
5. Start decorating for the season.
Brighten up your front with mums in planters, or plant mums in the ground this month for the best chance of successfully overwintering them. As the temperatures cool toward the end of the month, plant pansies, ornamental kale, and other cool-temperature annuals. Replenish mulch on any beds that need more for the coming winter. With the lower humidity September is a good time to paint and seal any wooden outdoor furniture, bird houses, and bird feeders as well. If you need some new items for your feathered friends, check out our inventory online.