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Top 7 Gardening Must-Do’s for September 2023


Say hello to our BEST gardening season here in the Coastal Bend! September is the time to plant almost everything! And the recent rain is FANTASTIC news for getting started! Here are our top must-do’s this month as we head into our favorite planting 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. Ready, Set, PLANT Veggies, Herbs, Citrus, and 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 still-intense sun and keep watered. When planting, you can’t go wrong with organic BioTone starter fertilizer + a good handful of Earthworm Castings. Neither of these require precise measurement, and they make an incredible combo for building stronger, deeper roots, preventing pests, and creating the perfect soil environment for plants to thrive.

Here’s our Fall veggie planting schedule. And save space for citrus trees, figs, and other fruits to round off your garden grocery store! Revisit Josh’s guide to planting citrus trees.

2. Plant Trees and Shrubs for the BEST Start

Plants that are cold hardy (trees and woody shrubs) will benefit greatly by planting during our fall season. They’re under less heat stress, and they grow more roots through the fall and winter, 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 other trees and shrubs should be planted starting this month.

3. Plant to Support Pollinators!

We’re bringing in lots of new plants this month with our pollinator friends in mind! While you’re choosing what to plant, consider adding Texas Natives like Turk’s Cap and Lantana that birds and bees love. If you want to attract and support butterflies, try native butterfly weed, Gregg’s mist flower, and lots of different blooming salvias. So many gorgeous options!

4. Set the Table for the Fall Hummingbird Migration!

Ruby-throated hummingbirds will soon make their way through for the fall migration! These tiny birds are BIG eaters. They stop here in the Coastal Bend to fuel up before their non-stop flight across the Gulf of Mexico. Host them in your yard by planting some of their favorite foods! Hummingbirds find plants using their excellent vision and are attracted to bright colored blooms, which indicate a high-sugar food source. Some of our favs for South Texas are Flame Acanthus (aka hummingbird bush), Salvias (like native Salvia greggii and Salvia leucantha), Cape Honeysuckle, Firecracker plant, Coral bean – the list goes on! Plant a few of these and hummingbirds will find them. And don’t forget to visit the Rockport-Fulton HummerBird Celebration September 14-17!

5. Make Way for New Growth with Light Pruning and Clean-up

Chances are you have established plants that could benefit from a clean-up after working so hard all summer. Wait until about September 15th and give them a light pruning to make way for new growth this fall. A good rule of thumb for most plants is to prune up to 1/3 (not more) in the fall, then wait until January to do a heavy pruning/cutback. If you have questions about how to prune specific plants, you know who to call!

6. Trap and Prevent Mosquitos

Setting simple traps with organic Mosquito Dunks or Mosquito Bits is perhaps the most effective method for controlling mosquitos. It couldn’t be easier – grab a 5-gallon bucket, fill it with water and add a few handfuls of straw, leaves, weeds, food waste, etc. This will start to stagnate and attract female mosquitos to lay their eggs. After a day or 2, toss in a Mosquito dunk or a spoonful of mosquito bits which will kill the mosquito larvae. Try a few traps plus some repellant granules and incense!  

7. You’re Invited! Gill Garden Talks and Events in September!

Gill Garden Talks and Events are back! We’re kicking it off with a kids seed starting workshop on September 9th. Stay tuned here and on Instagram and Facebook for details of each event. Can’t wait!

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