September is a month of transitions. Summer transitions into fall and the days grow ever-shorter and a bit chillier. Accordingly, plants prepare for the winter ahead. Your garden needs special care as summer ends to ensure the next season will be a good one. Follow these tips and begin Autumn with fresh feet:
Plant Trees and Shrubs
Now is the best time of year to plant new trees and shrubs! A healthy tree starts with good bed preparation, so be sure to get your beds started early and water plentifully after planting. September in the south tends to be dry as bone!
Plant Early Spring Flowers
Bulbs for flowers that bloom in early spring can be planted now. For late spring flowers or cool weather annuals, wait until after first frost when the days are consistently cool. It’s too warm still to prepare flowers like pansies and tulips.
As we said, September is usually dry. Arid, hot days this late in the season can be stressful for plants. Reapply mulch to beds and around trees and shrubs. A fresh layer of mulch will help protect plant roots from heat and aid in moisture retention.
Tend Your Lawn
Until cold weather settles in to stay, continue mowing your lawn weekly to around 3 inches. Cutting too short could leave grass vulnerable to brown spot and other diseases. Likewise, continue spraying or pulling weeds and checking regularly for pests.
Deadhead and Prune
Deadhead annuals, perennials, and rose bushes, and continue to prune trees and shrubs. Remove all dead or dying growth and clear your lawn of clippings and waste.
Aerate and Seed Lawn
It’s aeration season! Aerate first and then seed and fertilize. Lawn aerators can be rented from hardware stores for cheap, or you can hire professionals (like the Roanoke Landscapes team) to aerate for you. After aeration and seeding is done, fertilize once a month throughout winter.
Bring House Plants Back Inside
If you took your house plants out last spring for some fresh air, now is the time to move them back indoors, where they’ll be safe from any surprise frosts or mercurial weather incidents. Before moving them inside, check under their leaves and flowers for signs of pest damage and remove any dead growth. Next spring, you can repot them.
Watch For Critters!
If anyone loves fall in the beautiful blue ridge more than we do, it’s the deer. You’ve probably already begun to notice these adorable but destructive critters roaming around your neighborhood in search of yummy fall vegetables and flowers. Stocking up on deer pellets or pepper paste will help keep your garden safe from the onslaught.