Tips for Tuesday
In the Garden: September

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, 1936
September in the garden--that time, in our part of this world, where the horrific heat of midsummer begins to wane, 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 leaves turning and falling of more temperate climes, but rather the brown of I give! Time to pull away the dead growth of a summer too hot and too dry, and start over again, with the promise of a second coming of green before the coldest days of winter set in. It's the garden 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, and perhaps 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.

Lawn Care
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

Flower Plants
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

Flower Seeds
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

Trick Poinsettias into holiday bloom--
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


  1. Maggie, thank you SO MUCH for this. Until about four days ago, I didn't realize people planted "new" gardens in the fall, and I am so excited to give it a try. This post gives me some great ideas to start with. Sure hope I can keep my thumb green, so if you have any posts about that, let me know!

    1. Hey there!
      I'm just catching up from the few days I took off. Yikes! I'll be working ALL DAY AND NIGHT! Here's a link for you to determine your gardening zone, since our planting info, here, may be a little off from yours. A great resource for planting guides for your zone would be to find the extension agency closest to your area. Lemme know how it goes! This really is the BEST time of year to garden!

  2. Yes, thank you for this. I'm a newbie veggie gardener so this first year I will be planting fall vegetables. On my planting list at the moment is - Kale, Chard, Broccoli, Lettuce and maybe carrots. Do you have any suggestion on any varieties that will out perform others?

  3. Hi, Steph!
    Both the curly kale and the lacinato kale doing beautifully here, but the lacinato kale is most popular for making 'kale chips'--we grow both. Rainbow swiss chard grows well for us. Leaf lettuces grow better than heads, here, and globe carrots are good for us because our soil is pretty clay and compacted. We've just given up on We do have better luck with broccoli raab. We'll try once again this season, to grow head broccoli--keep you posted. Two links of use:
    Agrilife Info for the San Antonio area:
    Natural Gardener, a great place to call and see if they have more info on particular varieties

  4. Thank you Maggie. I appreciate all the info. Hope all is well with you:)

    1. Thank you, my friend! It's pretty darned busy around here. I recently started working at the sorority house where my husband works, and though it's hard work, it's FUN work, too. I'm helping out in the kitchen. I'm trying to work it all out with this blogging schedule, and it's getting kind of crazy, but I know it will all work out soon. Hope you have a great fall garden!
      Thanks, as always, for stopping by.

  5. Thank you Maggie! This is an amazingly thorough resource. We suffered from the lack of rain all summer. Then as soon as the county fair opened, the heavens finally gave up the ghost and it rained. It has rained quite a bit since. The lawn greened back up, the flowers started blooming again, and wonder of wonders the pepper plants and tomato plants filled up with produce.


    1. Oh Kathy, I so envy your heavens opening! We are all brown and crisp here, although the peppers still flourished, as pepper will do. Tomatoes? Not so much.
      Thanks for dropping by and sharing your garden wealth!

  6. This is definitely a must have list as we are trying to plant our flowers and vegetables garden.

    Thank you Maggie!

    1. Hi there, and thanks for dropping by! Just a note that you might want to check the USDA Hardiness Zone map for your area, and perhaps a local nursery or extension agency to double check the dates for planting in your climate.
      Have a great fall planting!

  7. I got a great abundance of tomatoes and peppers and herbs after all the worry at the beginning of the drought like season. The lawn did not fair well. Man who mows put fertizler down without telling me and I didn't run the sprinklers..ugh. I got it recovered, and then he did it again. I think I got it through to him to tell me, but I can't be sure.
    Thanks for the time line for the diving of the bulbs. Charlie loved to garden and took care of it. I have been leaving them be, but they are way too crowded. I wait each spring to see his favorite white giant irises and I take some to him at the cemetery. I was worried I would kill them off if I just leave them as is. Thanks for sharing your valuable experience. Sounds like a fun job to work at a soriority! Just the giggling alone I bet with a bunch of young ladies around would be a great experience.

    1. Hi Winnie!
      White irises are a favorite of mine, and they were also a favorite of my late grandmother. I am so happy to help you keep those bulbs flourishing for such an important reason. If I were you, I would double check with a local nursery or local extension office for the best time to divide bulbs in NY, since we are in such different USDA hardiness zones. Can't hurt to double check since it's such a special patch of bulbs.
      Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing an intimate part of your world. Your comments are always a blessing.


Thank you for visiting Notes from Maggie's Farm. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...