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September Garden To-Do List

By BlueKey Support
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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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