September Garden Chores

September Maintenance Guide

Garden Tips for September


*If you must move peonies or if you want to start some new division ( they really don’t like to be disturbed, but sometimes you just have to!), you can do that now. Peony plants should have two to three eyes (the small red points on the root). “Peonies in My Garden

Gallery of Peonies I grow.

*Plant peonies, crowns no more than 1-2 inches beneath the surface of the ground.

*Plant ferns in early fall for best results.

*Perennial phlox can be divided. ‘Starfire’ Phlox paniculata profile.

*Divide lily-of-the-valley, Convallaria majalis. Lily-of-the-Valley plant profile.

Seed gathering time! Seed envelopes or make your own

Backyard Birding Supply Warehouse for your feathered friends

*Do not fertilize or excessively prune at this time, it can interfere with dormancy and expose your plantings to winterkill.

Prune Rambler Roses,

make cuttings from the prunings : (6 – 8 inch) lengths of firm shoots pruned just below and just above a bud are pushed into the soil halfway.

*Take cuttings of your favorite, special annual plants. Pot them up to overwinter.

End of Season Tasks

*Improve your garden soil.One of the most important things to do for a great garden Add manure, compost and leaves;
wood ashes have nutrients, place on vegetable gardens and flower beds. They are alkaline.

*Move your tropical houseplants indoors by the end of the month.

Lots of people advise you to get the garden equipment and tools cleaned up for winter. I think it is too early yet, since October is still prime gardening time here in Ohio and there will be some mowing that needs to be done between now and November. It is always time to organize, etc., but I would not put away the tools or work on cleaning up everything when you still need to actively use it throughout this month and into the next.

*Time to make or patch a lawn, grass seed and sod will grow well now during the best month for seeding the lawn.

*Kill slugs now and they won’t be laying eggs for next year. Try drowning in a beer trap, using salt, but do away with them. Clean up garden debris and their hiding places.

Keep building that compost pile, you will have plenty of garden waste to add

Trees and Shrubs

*Plant trees, shrubs, bulbs, perennials, in general; move or plant evergreen and coniferous plants. This is one of the best months for planting. Mid-September through mid-October is the best time for trees.How to plant a tree or shrub.

*Garden tip: Observe which plants and trees have the best autumn color. Keep a list in your journal for buying time to pump up the fall color in your own garden plans

*Do not prune azaleas, rhododendrons and other spring flowering shrubs, or you will lose next years flowers.


*Bulbs ought to be planted four to six weeks before the ground freezes, although I have planted right up until frost. They make root growth in the fall. Read about choosing bulbs, and planting them in Bulbs, Tulips, and Tulips and Daffodils, in detail.

Daffodils, squills, grape hyacinths and crown imperial bulbs will deter rodents who munch through your tulip and crocus plantings- the smell helps repel them. I like to interplant stand of daffodils with tulips, or use squills as underplanting. Scillas with crocus and grape hyacinths also make a nice carpet together, the one following the other in succession. Crown Imperials are imposing plants, and they do smell a bit skunky- keep that in mind when deciding placement.


*Avoid storing apples or onions with potatoes or carrots

Gardening tip for tomatoes: strip off the lower leaves so that the sun can ripen the fruit

More: Tomato plants prefer acid soil. Adding used coffee grounds helps increase the acidity of the soil. this is an old-timey tip for vegetable gardens- my grandfather always put the grounds directly into the soil along side his veggie plantings

*Hot peppers will keep best if they are dry. Thread the peppers on a string and store in a dry area.

*Plant cold-hardy vegetables: peas, lettuce, green onion sets, radishes, and spinach.

*Pears should be picked at the hard ripe stage and allowed to finish ripening off the tree.

Chores For September

Most trees and shrubs will put down good root systems if planted now. *Remember to trim back broken branches or top heavy plants.*Prepare storage for your summer bulbs. Once foliage has died down, lift bulbs and store in a cool dry, frost free place.*Any and all seeds from annuals, perennials, or vegetables that you want to keep. Remember that hybrids will not come true.
*Plant Madonna lilies in the early part of September. Lilies of other types all through the month.*Frost threatens but you have lots of tomatoes to ripen? If they are not too green, lay them out ( not touching) on newspaper in a cool dry place. I use my basement. They slowly ripen and I have fruits long after the outdoors plants are gone.*Keep your vegetable garden harvested and the new plantings thinned for optimum growth.
*Prime time to plant your tulips and daffodils. Those you want to force for winter bloom go into refrigeration for a bit (6-8 weeks)*Fast acting fertilizers might as well go on the shelf. Use slow acting types like bone meal for the early fall feeding.*Pears ripen best off the tree. Apples often are sweeter after first frost.
Plant radish, lettuce, spinachstrings of dried peppers and garlic braidsUse root storage bin for potatoes, etc.