It seems like I've blinked and it's gone from May to September! This summer has been a complete blur to me, but that's how life is sometimes. Needless to say there are many garden chores that are coming up that will need done this month. Here's my September garden chore list!
- Finish pruning trees and shrubs. Here in Tennessee we have until mid to late October before the first frost appears so we have about 6-8 weeks for any new growth to harden off before the frosts come which means if you are going to prune you should have either done it already or need to do it fast. Don't prune spring flowering trees and shrubs as they have already formed buds for spring flowers. Also don't prune hydrangeas unless you don't care if they bloom next year. They form flower buds on this summers growth so anything you cut will remove potential flowers from next year's show. Of course dead branches can be pruned anytime from anything!
- Plant new grass seed. I reseed the lawn every year with a combination of cool season grasses (called overseeding). Last year I used annual rye grass as well as a fescue which gave the lawn a nice light green shade in the spring. It also helps to break up poor soils. After the annual rye dies back the holes left by the roots become available for other grasses to use and makes forming their root systems easier. Plus it opens up channels for water to go deeper into the ground. I'll use some variety of perennial fescue in addition to the annual rye grass. Unfortunately here in Tennessee we are in an area where grass it difficult to grow since the summers get so hot. Hot season grasses enjoy the summer but don't do much in the cooler seasons while the cool season grasses get fried and go dormant in the summer. Rye grass is a great way to bridge the two types of grasses.
- Plant the fall garden. If you haven't started yet and you want a fall garden you had better get going! (that goes for me too!) Nearly anything you grew in the cool season can be done again in the fall. The greatest thing about the fall garden is that the bugs are going away! Either start from seed indoors and hard them off or get some transplants. Or if you still have vegetables growing in your garden you can sow seed underneath them and use the shade to start the fall crops. Good plants for the fall vegetable garden: Lettuce, spinach, kale, chard, radishes, beets, carrots, pak choy and many more.
- If you aren't planting a fall garden start preparing the garden for next year. Pull out dead and diseases plants - do not compost, diseases can hang around for quite a while. Collect leaves, grass clippings, manure and mix it into the garden to compost over the winter. Either go the sheet composting route or till the organic material into the soil.
- September is a good time to start mulching again. The weather "should" be more pleasant for working outdoors and the plants will benefit over the winter from a good insulating layer of mulch.
- Continue weeding. It is critical to weed anything that is about to go to seed to try and reduce you work for next year.
- Projects! September's more pleasant weather means project time in Tennessee! Oh wait maybe I should have said football... anyway the cooler temperatures make painting and staining decks possible again, building arbors, and all kinds of other projects. On my project list: Paint the garden shed windows and doors, make a potting area in the shed, stepping stone construction, patio expansion, possibly work on my garden fence, and we'll just leave it at that for now!
So what do you have planned for September?
Labels: garden, garden to-do list, to do