Less Noise, More Green: September Garden Chores

Monday, September 8, 2014

September Garden Chores

Rudbeckia, Cherokee Sunset

Summer doesn't seem to want to let go here in Rhode Island. We've just had one of the hottest, most humid weeks of the year and my garden is not happy about it. Many of my summer crops, such as the squashes, lettuces and basil, did not fair well and the winter squashes have fallen victim to powdery mildew.

September is really a transition month in the garden, anyway.  As the month goes on, the temperatures fall and the rainfall increases. The weather gives us a window of time to assess our gardens, plan for the future and make changes before the frosts come and we tuck our plants into their beds for the winter. Now is the time to move unhappy plants, divide perennials and plant bulbs and new perennials. Trim back shrubs and vines this month so they have time to recover before the cold sets in.

Black Beauty Eggplant

Looking around my gardens I  can see a lot of changes I'd like to make. With a first year garden in the front of my house and a backyard garden with thriving perennials that need attention, September is going to be a busy month.

Bumble Bee on Batchelor's Button
Hey, Mr. Bumble Bee, where did you get your bright orange pollen?

Here is my list of chores for September:

Front Edible Garden
  • Install a reinforcement border around the edge of the garden to help with soil erosion and water run off.
  • Assess the placement of perennials such as the lingonberries and blueberries and move if necessary.
  • Transplant the strawberry runners.
  • Make a decision on moving the Kousa Dogwood which is not happy in its current location.

Batchelor's Buttons
These Batchelor's Buttons have given me so much pleasure this summer.  I'm going to be sad to see them go.

  • Remove spent summer crops and annuals.
  • Plant fall transplants - kale, lettuce and cabbages.
 Rudbeckia, Cherokee Sunset
  • Deal with unhealthy plants - powdery mildew on the rudbekia and  bee balm, as well as 'rust' on the holly hocks.
  • Continue to harvest and preserve herbs and calendula.
 Sunseed Sunflower
  • Harvest cilantro, poppy and sunflower seeds.
  • Decide on whether to plant spring bulbs and if so, where?

Blackberry vines
These blackberry vines are out of control and must be dealt with.

Backyard Vegetable Garden
  • Remove spent summer crops.
  • Tend to winter crops.
  • Prune back/ remove blackberry vines.
  • Transplant strawberry runners.
  • Divide and transplant daylillies.
  • Prune Rose of Sharon and remove dead branches.
  • Move blueberry bushes?

Delicatta Squash
It's a long list but the attention I give my garden now will pay off in the spring. Besides, a garden is always a work in progress and the fun lies in the tweaking!

See you in the garden,


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