Tuesday, September 6, 2011

FAQ: What garden tasks should I do in September?

Among the most frequently asked questions, "When is the best time to...", is near the top of the list. Here are a few gardening tasks for September organized by region.

Northeast States: Frost in September is possible. Plant broadleaf and evergreen trees and shrubs, perennials and ground covers. Divide perennials and transplant. Plant container grown mums. Transfer herbs to pots for use indoors. Move tender perennials to the greenhouse or cold frame. Plant spring-flowering bulbs. Sow cold-hardy greens. Thinking ahead, root prune plants that you wish to move next spring. Take cuttings to root over winter in the cold frame. Fertilize fall annuals, house plants and container gardens. Continue fall cleanup. Compost debris. Continue to irrigate shrubs and trees. Be aware of possible frost, and be prepared to protect plants if necessary. Take house plants indoors.

Mid-Atlantic States: Plant evergreen and broadleaf shrubs and trees, perennials and ground covers. Divide perennials and transplant. Plant container grown mums. Transfer herbs to pots for use indoors. Move tender perennials to the greenhouse or cold frame. Plant spring-flowering bulbs. Sow winter annuals, vegetables. Plant winter vegetable sets. Lightly shape shrubs. Thinking ahead, root prune plants that you wish to move next spring. Take cuttings to root over winter in the cold frame. Fertilize fall annuals, house plants and container gardens. Continue fall cleanup. Prepare beds for spring planting. Continue to irrigate shrubs and trees. Continue rose care. Compost debris. Fertilize plants with bone meal.

Mid-South States: Plant shrubs and trees, perennials and ground covers. Divide perennials and transplant. Plant container grown mums. Transfer herbs to pots for use indoors. Move tender perennials to the greenhouse or cold frame. Plant spring-flowering bulbs. Set out cool season vegetables. Lightly shape shrubs. Fertilize house plants and container gardens. Begin fall cleanup.  Compost debris. Continue to irrigate shrubs and trees. Continue rose care. Continue lawn care or begin lawn renovation. Fertilize plants with bone meal.

Lower South and Gulf States: Plant winter-blooming annuals. Plant or transplant spring and summer blooming perennials, bulbs. Lightly prune trees and shrubs, but do not prune spring-blooming trees and shrubs. Remove or prune trees and branches damaged by storms. Continue lawn maintenance. Root prune trees and shrubs that you might wish to move next spring. Order bulbs for fall planting, if you haven't already. Continue to irrigate shrubs and trees. Continue rose care. Continue lawn care or begin lawn renovation.

Plains and Rocky Mountain States: Plant container-grown trees and shrubs, perennials, ground covers. Sow cool-season vegetable seeds for fall crop. Divide perennials. Lightly prune trees and shrubs. Add debris to compost pile. Continue lawn maintenance. Order bulbs for fall planting. Move herbs from garden to pots for winter use indoors. Remove dead, diseased and damaged limbs/branches from trees and shrubs. Fertilize plants with bone meal. Take house plants indoors. Apply pre-emergent herbicide to lawns.

Pacific Southwest and Desert States: Begin fall planting, sow cool-season annuals and vegetables. Sow cool season perennials in flats. Divide perennials and deadhead perennials. Lightly prune shrubs and trees, with the exception of spring-blooming shrubs and trees. Fertilize annuals, house plants and and container gardens. Clean up garden and add debris to compost pile. Continue lawn maintenance. Order bulbs for fall planting. Remove dead, diseased and damaged limbs/branches from trees and shrubs. Fertilize plants with bone meal. Apply pre-emergent herbicide to lawns. Renovate lawn, if necessary.

Pacific Northwest States: Plant broadleaf and evergreen trees and shrubs, perennials and ground covers. Divide perennials and transplant. Plant container grown mums. Transfer herbs to pots for use indoors. Move tender perennials to the greenhouse or cold frame. Plant spring-flowering bulbs. Sow cold-hardy greens. Thinking ahead, root prune plants that you wish to move next spring. Take cuttings to root over winter in the cold frame. Fertilize fall annuals, house plants and container gardens. Continue fall cleanup. Compost debris. Prune dead, diseased and damaged limbs and branches from trees and shrubs. Continue to irrigate shrubs and trees.

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