notes from maggie's farm
It is utterly forbidden to be half-hearted about gardening. You have got to love your garden whether you like it or not. ~W.C. Sellar & R.J. Yeatman, Garden Rubbish, 1936September in the garden--that time, in our part of this world, where the horrific heat of midsummer begins to wain, and the early morning hours spent preparing for a late fall harvest remind one that, indeed, there may yet be cooler days ahead.
It's brown here, right now. Not the brown of turning and falling leaves in the more temperate climes, but rather the brown of 'I give!'. It's a time to pull away the dead growth of a summer too hot and too dry, and start over again. The promise of a second coming of green before the coldest days of winter. It's the garden's days of second chances. Don't give in just yet--the work of this month will yield some of the most pleasant moments, the sweetest harvests of the year--the reminder that, yes, you really do love your garden.
Feed chrysanthemums every 2-3 weeks until buds appear, then weekly until buds show color. Fertilize roses, gardenias and magnolias.
Water trees and shrubs deeply and slowly.
Transplant after dividing: Amaryllises, Callas, Cannas, Daylilies, Irises, Liriope, Wood Ferns.
Test soil every 3 years to help plan fertilizer applications. Start a compost pile with fall leaves and yard debris; shred with lawnmower. Replenish mulch in beds.
Watch for brown patch in St. Augustine turf as temperatures cool. Lawns with a history of the disease should be sprayed in late month and again in 3 weeks with Terraclor or Daconil. Early morning is the best time to water lawns. Mow every 5-7 days, leaving the clippings on the lawn.
Diseases/Pests to look out for
Watch roses for blackspot and mildew. Fall webworms are easiest to control when treated early with Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt).
Remove dead and damaged wood from shrubs and trees. Lightly prune pyracanthas so berries will show.
Things To Plant In September
ajuga, alpine aster, wax begonia, boltonia, butterfly weed, calico plant, candytuft, chine forget-me-not, cockscomb, cornflower, dianthus, daisy--english, shasta, painter, euryops, impatiens, larkspur, liatris, lobelia, petunia, phlox, obedient plant, salvia, sedum, stock, stokes' aster
alyssum, african daisy, balsam, bluebell, bluebonnet, calendula, castor bean, cockscomb, columbine, cornflower, cosmos, daisy, delphinium, four-o'clock, hollyhock, larkspur, liatris, marigold, poppy, snapdragon, stock, sunflower
allium, amarcrinum, calla, autumn crocus, cooperia, daylily, dietes, hardy cyclamen, spider lily, liriope, louisiana iris, ipheion, lily, lycoris, oxalis, monkey grass, rain lily, scilla, watsonia
Purchase tulip, crocus, hyacinth and daffodil bulbs to pre-chill.
- Early-Mid Month: Beans, Peas (English & edible pod), Summer Squash
- Mid-Late Month: Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Chinese Cabbage, Collards, Garlic, Kohlrabi.
- Prepare soil now for winter fruit tree planting
Other Things To Do
Beginning on the fall equinox (September 21/22) make sure potted plants get 14 hours of darkness every 24 hour period. Use a water-soluble fertilizer mixed about 1/4 strength with every watering. Plants should show color around Thanksgiving. At that point, restore them to bright, indirect sunlight and cut back on fertilizer.
Gardening to-dos courtesy of Central Texas Gardener