Fall is coming! Depending on where you live, September can still feel like summer, or it can have a dramatic cool down. Either way, there is plenty of gardening chores to be done.
1. Plant something for fall. Like colorful mums. A pot of fall mums on the porch with a few pumpkins makes any home look appealing.
2. Nursery stock will be discounted this time of year. Perhaps buy something you’ve been wanting at a fraction of the cost. You can plant trees and shrubs now as the ground cools, but keep them well watered until the frost. Container plants and perennials may successfully overwinter in the house or basement or garage if you can’t plant them outdoors right now.
3. Make notes in your gardening notebook about what worked well this summer growing season and what did not. You’ll appreciate the task next year as you make gardening plans all over again.
4. Clean up beds where fall bulbs will reside.
5. Keep the new trees and shrubs you planted this past year watered – they will be entering into a dormant period as frost comes and will need to be well hydrated.
6. Don’t feed your woody plants (except by Mother Nature) – they will need to be hardened off until spring.
7. Pull up your vegetable plants, annual flowers as they finish, fade, and die. This will help you keep things nicely cleaned up.
8. Are you vegetable gardening this fall and growing things like kale and Brussels sprouts? If so, keep things going out in the garden!
9. Consider sowing cover crops where your veggies grow. This will help improve your soil and soil fertility.
10. Bring in your favorite herbs, like parsley and chives for indoor offseason use. If you leave them outside, give them some protection to overwinter outdoors.
11. Clean up, till and prepare soil for early spring plants like asparagus and strawberries. Keep these beds cleaned out and ready to go so you won’t be stressed later.
12. Order your garlic, if you haven’t already. You’ll be ready to plant in the next month or two, depending on where you live. (About a month before frost is in the ground).
13. Dig and divide your Daylilies as blooms are finished and the cycle is completed. This chore can be done all fall long.
14. Allow perennials, biennials, and annuals to go to seed if you wish to let some self-sow for next year, of if you’d like to collect the seed for saving. If not, you will want to deadhead them.
15. Many of your popular annuals can be overwintered if you have good light indoors and keep them pinched. Take new root cuttings now if you want to do this.
16. Order new “for spring” bulbs now and plant them this fall.
17. Re-edge and clean up your flower beds. Use cardboard, newspaper, or grass clippings to smother out grass and weeds in new beds.
18. Give your houseplants a feeding of ProtoGrow, the all-natural liquid fertilizer I love to use.
19. Repot any houseplants that need it; especially those you will bring inside later this month or in early fall.
20. If you have a lawn, think about fall re-seeding needs. Don’t bag or rake your grass clippings from the last few mowings. Let them stay on the lawn to return nitrogen to the soil.
21. Keep working your compost – all through the fall and winter. Don’t allow it to dry out too much or it will not cook. Turn it often. You’ll appreciate the work come spring!