September Garden To-Do List

September is a busy time in the garden!  Most of us are planting fall crops and harvesting summer vegetables and it’s easy to forget what all needs done in preparation for fall and winter so hopefully this to do list will help!

Zone 1

  • Sow wildflower seeds
  • Water to winterize trees and shrubs
  • Clean up vegetable and perennial gardens
  • Plant spring-blooming bulbs
  • Apply winterizing formula lawn fertilizer (with high potassium)
  • Clean out greenhouse and sterilize bench tops
  • Sow salad greens and make or buy a cold frame for frost protection
  • Bring in bonsai, scented geraniums, poinsettias and Christmas cactus and set up grow lights if necessary
  • Take cuttings of annuals and herbs for indoor rooting
  • Clean off birdfeeders; clean out and put away birdbaths for the winter

 

Zone 2

  • Prune tomato roots to hasten ripening
  • Winterize trees and shrubs with deep waterings
  • Dethatch and aerate lawns
  • Sow salad greens and get the coldframe ready
  • Clean up rose bed and apply fungicide one last time to mildew and blackspot prone varieties
  • Harvest apples; put spoiled fruit in compost pile
  • Clean off birdfeeders and restock with seed
  • Deadhead chrysanthemum plants to prolong bloom
  • Plant garlic for harvest next summer
  • Sow wildflower seed for bloom next spring

 

 

Zone 3

  • Divide peonies and other spring and summer-blooming perennials
  • Plant perennials
  • Plant bare-root and containerized trees and shrubs
  • Sow wildflower seed for spring bloom
  • Plant spring-blooming bulbs
  • Dethatch and aerate lawns
  • If September rainfall is scarce, water trees and shrubs to keep them supple and prevent winter damage
  • Clean and restock birdfeeders
  • Plant garlic for harvest next summer
  • Set out bareroot peonies

 

Zone 4

  • Harvest apples and store in a cool place
  • Plant garlic
  • Dethatch and aerate the lawn
  • Clean out rose beds and apply fungicide one last time to susceptible varieties
  • Plant perennials
  • Move tender houseplants, etc. indoors after rinsing and repotting, and set up a grow light to supplement natural light
  • Clean and restock birdfeeders
  • Begin to move tropical water lilies and other tender aquatics indoors
  • Plant spring-blooming bulbs; refrigerate those you intend to force
  • Set out bareroot peonies

Zone 5

  • Set out transplants of cool-weather vegetables
  • Plant winter-hardy pansies and fall annuals (calendula, dianthus, ornamental cabbage and kale)
  • Plant tag teams of perennials and spring-blooming bulbs that will complement each other or bloom in sequence next season
  • Water trees and shrubs when rainfall is scarce to “winterize” them
  • Dethatch and aerate the lawn
  • Dehead chrysanthemum plants to keep flower buds forming through the fall
  • Clean out rose beds; apply fungicide; leave hips for winter color and bird food
  • Prune summer-bearing raspberries
  • Mow back strawberry plants; remove weeds and remulch
  • Move tender houseplants, etc. indoors after rinsing and repotting, and set up a grow light to supplement natural light

Zone 6

  • Set out cool-weather vegetable transplants, including salad greens, broccoli, kale and cabbage
  • Plant garlic and leeks
  • Prune cane fruits such as raspberries and blackberries
  • Plant winter pansies and fall annuals (calendula, dianthus, ornamental cabbage and kale)
  • Plant tag teams of perennials and spring-blooming bulbs that will complement each other or bloom in sequence next season
  • As tops die back, harvest potatoes, onions and garlic
  • Plant peonies
  • Plant fall-blooming bulbs to brighten up fading window boxes, planters and in drifts among ornamental grasses
  • Continue to harvest herbs, grasses and flowers for drying
  • Divide peonies, bearded iris and other spring- and summer-blooming perennials.

 

Zone 7

  • Set out transplants of cool-weather vegetables
  • Prune cane fruits such as raspberries and blackberries
  • Plant winter pansies and fall annuals (calendula, dianthus, ornamental cabbage and kale)
  • Plant peonies
  • Plant fall-blooming bulbs to brighten up fading window boxes, planters and in drifts among ornamental grasses
  • Continue to harvest herbs and flowers for drying
  • Divide peonies, bearded iris and other spring- and summer-blooming perennials
  • Plant bareroot trees and shrubs
  • Order sweet pea seedlings for fall planting
  • Plant herbs and groundcovers as the weather cools

Zone 8

  • Plant bareroot trees and shrubs
  • Order sweet pea seedlings for fall planting
  • Set out second crop of tomato and pepper plants
  • Sow seeds of green beans, squash, pumpkins and cucumbers
  • Divide bearded iris and other overcrowded spring- and summer-blooming perennials
  • Prune cane fruits
  • Continue to harvest herbs and flowers for drying
  • Sow seeds of perennials and keep soil moist if rainfall is scarce
  • Start cool-weather vegetables from seed now or set out store-bought transplants later in the month
  • Plant winter pansies and fall annuals (calendula, dianthus, ornamental cabbage and kale

 

Zone 9

  • Order sweet pea seedlings for fall planting
  • Plant fall- and winter-blooming perennial plants
  • Prune summer-flowering shrubs and vines
  • Plant winter pansies and fall annuals (calendula, dianthus, ornamental cabbage and kale) later in the month
  • Deeply irrigate trees and shrubs every few weeks
  • Plan for spring bulb gardens by seeking out specialty bulbs (species tulips, Dutch iris, anemone, ranunculus) that thrive in rainy winter, dry summer climates
  • Groom and fertilize hanging basket and container plants to keep them thriving through the fall
  • Sow cool-weather vegetable seeds
  • Clean out rose beds and reapply fungicide to disease-prone varieties
  • Sow seeds of perennials and keep soil moist if rainfall is scarce

 

Zone 10

  • Order roses for fall planting
  • Sow cool-season vegetable seeds
  • Prune summer-flowering shrubs and vines after bloom
  • Sow seeds of perennials and keep soil moist if rainfall is scarce
  • Deeply irrigate trees and shrubs every few weeks
  • Plant fall- and winter-blooming perennials
  • Groom and fertilize hanging basket and container plants to keep them thriving through the fall
  • Set out second round of tomato and pepper plants
  • Sow seeds of green beans, squash, pumpkins and cucumbers
  • Clean out rose beds, prune lightly and reapply fungicide to disease-prone varieties

 

Zone 11

  • Sow seeds of desert wildflowers
  • Groom and fertilize hanging basket and container plants to keep them thriving through the fall
  • Sow seed of cool-weather vegetables
  • Order roses for fall planting
  • Set out second round of tomato and pepper plants
  • Sow seeds of green beans, squash, pumpkins and cucumbers
  • Deeply irrigate trees and shrubs every few weeks
  • Clean out rose beds, prune lightly and reapply fungicide to disease-prone varieties
  • Continue to harvest summer vegetables to encourage more fruits to form
  • Build a compost pile for fall soil improvement

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