September Garden Chores

If you don't store your terra cotta pots, they will end up peeling off like this one or worse, broken.

If you don't store your terra cotta pots, they will end up peeling off like this one or worse, broken.

September Garden Chores

Welcome, fall, a season when gardeners try to get a head start on next year. At least I do!

The following are my September garden chores, in no particular order:

1.     Get plants ready to bring inside. Trim off extra growth to reshape your plants into a manageable inside size. Spray with dishwashing liquid drops in water to remove hitchhikers. Determine good lighting spots inside your house for the plant needs.

2.     Plant trees. Make sure to check how big the tree will get when mature and select an appropriate location for that size. I have a compact apple tree I need to move because the tree is now growing in front of a bay window. Guess the root grafting didn’t quite take! Also dig the hole at least twice the size of the root ball, it does make a difference.

3.   Plant garlic. Get garlic bulbs at local garden centers or clean out your refrigerator crisper. Divide the garlic bulbs and get them planted before the first frost. You should have garlic for cooking next year.

4.   Harvest your bounty. It has been a late season for my tomatoes, onions and peppers this year but there is still time to harvest and store for winter. I freeze some of my bounty in plastic bags for soup-making later.

5. Weed and mulch your garden beds. If you weed now, you can remove plants with seeds and hopefully reduce next year’s weeds. Compost those plants after removing seed heads. Mulch your garden bed: hay, cardboard, grass clippings, non-treated wood chips all work well to amend your soil.

6. Make note of what you grew where. The general rule of thumb is to not plant the same thing in the same spot for more than 2 years in a row.

7. Wash, clean and store pots. You don’t want to harbor bugs or diseases so wash out plant pots before storing. It’s also a nice way to get a head start on spring planting.

8. Stop fertilizing roses. Trim them and mulch.

9. Cut and freeze herbs so you will have them for use this winter.

What garden chores do you like to do in September?