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September Garden To-Do List

By BlueKey Support

Here is our comprehensive garden task list for gardens in the greater DC metro region for September courtesy of Washington Gardener Magazine. Your additions to this list are most welcome:

  • Keep an eye out for the first frost date. In Zone 6, it is expected between Oct 3 and Nov 8 and in Zone 7 it is predicted between Oct 7 and Nov 7.
  • Divide and transplant perennials — in particular, peonies, and iris.
  • Pick apples at a local pick-your-own farm or visit a local farmer’s market.
  • Pot up rosemary and chives for over-wintering indoors.
  • Take cuttings from your coleus and begonia to propagate and over-winter indoors.
  • Look out for any poison ivy vines which will turn crimson in the fall and be easy to distinguish from other vines.
  • Check your local Meadows Farms for end-of-summer bargains.
  • Put netting over your pond to prevent the accumulation of leaves and debris.
  • Start feeding birds to get them in the habit for this winter.
  • Attend a local garden club meeting or plant exchange.
  • Pick mature tomatoes and peppers to ripen on your window sills.
  • Turn your compost pile weekly and don’t let it dry out. Work compost into your planting beds.
  • Remove rotting fruits from fruit trees and compost them.
  • Plant evergreens for winter interest.
  • Weed.
  • Plant garlic bulbs.
  • Collect plant seeds for next year’s planting and for trading.
  • Plant mums and fall season annuals.
  • Fertilize your lawn and re-seed if needed.
  • Dig up bulbs from your Gladiolus, Canna, Caladiums, and other tender bulbs, cut off foliage, dry for a week, and then store
  • for the winter.
  • Transplant trees and shrubs.
  • Harvest your herbs often and keep them trimmed back to encourage leafy growth.
  • Bring in house plants if you took them out for the summer.
  • If your conifers start shedding their needles or your spring bulb foliage starts peaking out of the ground, don’t worry- this is normal for our Autumn cycle.
  • Leave hummingbird feeders out until October 15.
  • Start bulb plantings of early spring bloomers at the end of the month.
  • Watch your pumpkins and squash for harvest when their rinds fully
  • Divide ornamental grasses.
  • Cut herbs and flowers for drying indoors.
  • Plant strawberries in a site with good drainage for harvest next spring.
  • Look out for slug eggs grouped under sticks and stones – they are the size of BBs and pale in color.
  • Plant cover crops in vegetable gardens and annual beds (for example, rye, clover, hairy vetch, and winter peas).
  • Begin conditioning the Christmas Poinsettias and Christmas Cactus to get them ready for the upcoming holiday season.
  • Bring Amaryllis indoors before a hard freeze. Repot every other year at this time. Store in a cool, dark place and do not water until the flower buds or leaves emerge.
  • Your summer annuals will be reviving now with cooler temps and some rain. Cut back any ragged growth and give them some fertilizer. They should put on a good show until the first hard frost.

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