Top 6 Must Do’s for September

gillnurseryMonthly Garden Guide, Timely Tips10 Comments

Fall gardening season is here and September is an action-packed month! It’s time for Fall veggies and citrus, refreshing your landscape, and fertilizing your lawn. Here are our top 6 must-do’s right now for a beautiful Fall season.

Check out our September Garden Guide for more tips and remember that trees, shrubs, and perennials can be planted 12 months out of the year! The only difference is the amount of water they need depending on temperatures and wind!

1. Plant Veggies, Herbs, Citrus & Fruits!

It’s time! Tomatoes, peppers, & warm weather edibles should be planted by now, or at least early this month. Plant cool weather veggies & herbs anytime this month and remember to shelter them from scorching sun and keep watered. Seeds of cool weather crops like turnips, beets, and radish should be started now. Carrots and greens should be planted later in September and into October. Here is our Fall veggie planting schedule. And save space for citrus trees, figs & other fruits to round off your garden grocery store! ICYMI:  watch Josh’s guide to planting citrus trees.

2. Prune Tired Plants to Encourage New Growth

Trim tired shrubs, roses, and perennials that have the “too much summer” look to them. Trimming removes that tired look and promotes new growth. In the Fall, a good rule of thumb is to cut back about 1/3 – don’t cut too much, and don’t cut too late. Do it now so your new growth gets established (aka ‘hardens off’) before a cold wind has a chance to damage it. Follow up your pruning with a dose of organic plant food like Hasta Gro or Plant Tone to get them looking fresh again.

3. Plant to Attract and Assist Birds

After the big freeze earlier this year, it’s even more important to help provide for birds whose habitat and food sources are still growing back. This month starts the migration of hummingbirds, Orioles, Flycatchers, Warblers, and Buntings. Here are some of their favorite plants to eat. Have a clean water source too (like a fountain or birdbath) so they can stop for a drink. 

  • Hummingbirds– Firebush (hamelia patens), Firecracker Plant (Russelia) 
  • Orioles- blackberries, figs, coral bean, and slices of fruit attached to tree limbs
  • Buntings– ornamental grasses & seed producing plants. 
4. Plant Trees & Shrubs!

Plants that are cold hardy (trees and woody shrubs) will benefit greatly by planting during our Fall season. They’re under less heat stress, so they grow more roots, making them stronger and ready to “take off” next Spring. More roots, stronger plants, better success! Oak trees, Crape Myrtles, Hawthorns, Lantana, Plumbago, Boxwoods and a host of others should be planted starting this month.

5. Prime Time to Fertilize Your Lawn

September 15 to October 15 is the window of opportunity to fertilize your lawn. We love organic Medina Growin’ Green or our tried and true Gill Lawn and Garden Food. You want to fertilize while the grass is still actively growing so it absorbs the food. Don’t wait until the grass goes dormant, because it won’t take up the nutrients. Also, top dressing with Nature’s Blend compost aids in deeper root systems, helps control some fungal diseases like Take All Root Rot, and makes for healthier soil.

6. Plant wildflower seeds!

September is the best time to plant wildflower seeds. Fall rains help wildflowers like Bluebonnets grow strong and have beautiful blooms next Spring. Choose an area with good sunlight cleared of weeds or unwanted plants. Rake clean, sow seeds, cover with soil, water, and wait for the transformation!

10 Comments on “Top 6 Must Do’s for September”

  1. I love your emails on tips to do with my plants. It seems my plants love your tips also.

    1. Gardenias are best pruned lightly in September and/or June every year. Pruning after the end of September and before spring blooming is not recommended.

    1. Maria we have lots of citrus trees including oranges, bananas, figs, and other fruit trees in stock now. Peaches are generally here early spring (February). Pecan trees would also be available at that time.

  2. My pineapple guava survive the freeze and now it’s quickly dying back one major branch at a time.
    It’s close to being a goner. Any thing I can do?

    1. Dorothy it would be best to send pictures or bring them by with a sample of the branch that shows how it is declining. It could be the excessive rains followed by our extreme heat this summer (note the blurb Sally Gill wrote about a similar situation with a couple of her vines). You can find it in this weeks Garden News. Seeing your issues would be a helpful start to what is happening.

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