January February March April May June
July August September October November December

Garden Tasks for September

The late summer garden has a tranquility
found no other time of the year.
- William Longwood


  • Cut back tired annuals and rejuvenate with water-soluble fertilizer.

  • Weed, water and fertilize as needed.

  • Deadhead to promote extended flowering.

  • Watch for signs of pests and diseases, especially spider mites.

  • Cut flowers early in the morning for longer-lasting arrangements.

  • Select best flowers for drying.

  • Begin planting winter-hardy plants such as pansies, ornamental cabbage, and kale.

Vegetables and Herbs

  • Late plantings of sweet corn and winter squash reach their peak quality this month.

  • Prepare frost protection for tender pumpkins, gourds, and squash late this month.

  • Cover crops should also peak this month. Plant oats or rye.

  • Pot up herb plants or start seeds for winter use and indoor growing.

Patio and Container Plants

  • Monitor plants daily for fertilizer, water and pests.

  • Replace summer seasonal plants with fall bloomers such as pansies, mums, cabbage, and kale.

  • Take cuttings of tender plants, such as geraniums, begonias, and impatiens, for over-wintering indoors.

Tree and Shrubs

  • Check for insects and disease; spray to control.

  • Water as needed.

  • Plant woody ornamentals.

  • Rake debris from shrub beds to eliminate over-wintering insect eggs.


  • Resume spraying with full-strength fungicides as needed as weather cools.

  • Water as needed; fall is often dry.


  • June-planted varieties should be a peak production, though ripening slows as temperatures fall.

  • When a hard freeze threatens, harvest all fruit.

  • Compost dead vegetation

  • Pick greet tomatoes before frost. Loosely cover with newspaper and lace in paper bag. Tomatoes will ripen in this dark condition.

Perennials and Bulbs

  • Transplant seedlings started in summer as space is available.

  • Begin to divide and replant perennials that have begun to crowd each other, especially bearded irises and daylilies.

  • Plant new iris as soon as rhizomes are available.

  • Weed, water and fertilize as needed.

  • Watch for signs of pests and diseases.

  • Continue to deadhead spent flowers.

  • Select crocus, tulips, daffodils, and other spring bulbs for planting Buy them now for best selection.


  • Rake to remove thatch and weeds.

  • Aerate if not done already or if soil seems hard and compacted.

  • Apply "Greenview Winter Green 10-16-20" fertilizer.

  • Sow seed over thin or bare spots, making passes from different directions. Straw prevents erosion.

  • Keep moist until the seeds sprout and develop a root system.

Adapted from Reader's Digest "1001 Hints and Tips for your Garden," 1998.