Plant Answers  >  Gardening Calendar: September

Gardening Calendar

SEPTEMBER

Plant: Fall vegetable gardening should be in full swing. For timing of planting, see:

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/PLANTanswers/fallgarden/falldirect.html.

Flowering Annuals can be transplanted now: Alyssum, asters, calendula, dianthus (pinks), flowering cabbage and kale, pansies, petunias, phlox, Shasta daisies, snapdragons, and stock. If temperatures remain unseasonably hot, gardeners would be well advised to wait until October to transplant most of these cool-season flowering plants. Plant selected types of wildflowers such as those listed at:

http://www.plantanswers.com/wildflower_planting_fall.htm

Keep the soil moist to ensure proper germination and growth. Protect seedlings from pillbugs with baits and insecticide (Sevin or Diazinon granules) dust barriers for two weeks after germination occurs.

Prune: The fall pruning of roses is lighter than in the spring and consists of removing twiggy and unproductive growth along with any crossing or dead canes. All rose foliage is left on the bush at this time. Labor Day is a good time to do the fall "grooming." Directions for this procedure can be found at:

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/plantanswers/publications/roses/rose.html

in the pruning methods for roses--fall pruning section.

Fertilize: With the advent of cooler weather and rain, your roses will begin their heavy fall blooming season. Once you have done your light fall pruning, you can apply a cup of organic rose food per bush and follow this two weeks later with a liquid feeding. Don't feed with either liquid or dry foods after the beginning of October. Vegetable crops benefit from a side dressing of fertilizer to enhance their growth and production potential. Use one cup of Ammonium Sulfate per 100 square feet of planting surface. Lawns have been expensive to maintain during the prolonged heat and drought. Those with lawns still alive will have to beware of the brown patch fungus which occurs during cool, moist fall conditions. Although several fungicides are recommended, the best results have been obtained using Turficide, which contains Terrachlor, as soon as damage is detected. September is the month to begin thinking about the most important lawn fertilization of the year -- the application of a Winterizer fertilizer to condition the grass for winter survival. Wait until the lawn grass slows growth and mowing every two weeks is adequate before applying the Winterizer fertilizer. This optimum period is caused by cooling conditions and change in daylength. The fertilizers to use are the ones which have "Winterizer" on the bags and are complete (contains all three elements -- nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) analysis with 3-1-2 or 4-1-2 ratios.

On the Lookout: Insects will be in "full swing" and their populations "full blown" by now. For further identification of what bugs you have and how to control them, see: http://citybug.tamu.edu
Tender seedlings and transplants MUST be protected from spider mites, stink bugs, grasshoppers and deer. A protective cover which provides a bit of sun protection is called Grow-Web (also sold as Plant Guard, Plant Shield, ReeMay). Use of this netting material is discussed at the Internet site: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/plantanswers/tomato.html Use of this netting will be required to provide early cold and frost protection (protects plants from temperatures in the low 30's) so that cold-sensitive plants such as tomatoes, peppers and eggplants can ripen the fruit before the first hard freeze (below 32 degrees F. for several hours) occurs.

Odd Jobs: Select appropriate and recommended tree and shrub varieties that will complete or renovate your landscape. Use plants recommended at:
http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/PLANTanswers/publications/southcnt.html

Color

Know flowers' mature heights and widths and plant for maximum visibility.
Add compost and fertilizer to your flowerbeds for a little extra kick that tired flowers need.
Add instant color by planting annuals such as ornamental kale, calendula, dianthus, fall aster, mari-mums (Mariogolds), and phlox.
Continue to feed patio plants and hanging baskets with a water-soluble fertilizer such as 20-20-20 or Hasta-gro.
Rejuvenate heat stressed geraniums and begonias by lightly pruning, fertilizing and watering.
Divide perennials like daylily and iris now. Give half to the neighbors and replant the other half.
Add generous amounts of compost to all beds.
If you order bulbs for spring, now is the time to order them. Put them in a paper bag in the frig for 6-8 weeks before planting.
Picking flowers frequently encourages more flowers.
Barely rake bluebonnet seeds into the planting area, making sure you get good seed-on-soil contact, now to allow them to germinate in the fall. Water thoroughly.
Firebush and fall asters should be blooming this month.
Christmas cactus can be made to flower by supplying 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness and cool nights (55 degrees F.) for a month, starting mid-October. Keep plants on the dry side for a month prior to treatment.

Fruits and Nuts
Keep your pecans watered if you want full nuts. One inch per week over the area covered by the crown is sufficient.
Cut back the dying canes on your blackberry bushes. You can maintain them at about 3 feet in height.

Ornamentals
Caladiums need plenty of water this month. It wouldn't hurt to fertilize them with one pound of 19-5-9 slow-release fertilizer per 100 square feet of bed.

Shade Trees and Shrubs
Check out the requirements for trees and do your planning before planting any. Find out the mature height and width. Don't plant any tree closer then 25 feet to any structure. Plant trees and shrubs this month or later after the hot weather subsides. Dig the hole the same depth as the container the tree came in and 2-3 times as wide. Don't add anything to the soil when you replace it*the tree needs to learn to live in soil you plant it in. Add 2-3 inches of native mulch in a circle about 5-6 feet across. Don't place the mulch up against the trunk of the tree*leave about 3-6 inches. Water the new tree once per week for the first season. Place the hose at the base of the tree and let it barely run for a couple of hours so that it approximately fills the hole you dug.

If you prune your oak trees, be sure to paint as soon as you cut.

Turf Grass
This is a good month to plant Bermudagrass seed or sod your lawn to get it established before winter sets in. Keep the seeds continually MOIST for about 10 days or so*until the seeds sprout. Then back off on the watering.

Vegetables
Protect young seedlings from hot sun. Old sheer-curtains do a great job. Mulching with oak leaves does a great job, too. 3-4 inches of leaves help keep the soil cool, stops weeds from germinating, and helps hold in the moisture.
It's time to plant squash, bush beans, cucumbers, radishes, carrots, beets, sweet corn, and potatoes.

September Calendar by Dr. Tom Harris

Color
Know flowers' mature heights and widths and plant for maximum visibility.
Add compost and slow-release fertilizer to your flowerbeds for a little extra kick that tired flowers need.
Add instant color by planting annuals such as ornamental kale, calendula, dianthus, snapdragons, stock, fall aster, mari-mums, and phlox.
Continue to feed patio plants and hanging baskets with a water-soluble fertilizer such as 20-20-20 or Hasta-gro.
Rejuvenate heat stressed geraniums and begonias by lightly pruning, fertilizing and watering.
Divide perennials like daylily and iris now. Give half to the neighbors and replant the other half.
Add generous amounts of compost to all beds.
If you order bulbs for spring, now is the time to order them. Put them in a paper bag in the frig for 6-8 weeks before planting.
Picking flowers frequently encourages more flowers.
Plant bluebonnet seeds now to allow them to germinate in the fall. Water thoroughly.
Firebush and fall asters should be blooming this month.
Christmas cactus can be made to flower by supplying 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness and cool nights (55F) for a month, starting mid-October. Keep plants on the dry side for a month prior to treatment.
Fruits and Nuts
Keep your pecans watered if you want full nuts. One inch per week over the area covered by the crown is sufficient.
Cut back the dying canes on your blackberry bushes. You can maintain them at about 3 feet in height.

Ornamentals
Caladiums need plenty of water this month. It wouldn't hurt to fertilize them with about ½ pound of 21-0-0 per 100 square feet of bed.

Shade Trees and Shrubs
Check out the requirements for trees and do your planning before planting any. Find out the mature height and width. Don't plant any tree closer then 25 feet to any structure. Plant trees and shrubs this month. Dig the hole the same depth as the container the tree came in and 2-3 times as wide. Don't add anything to the soil when you replace it*the tree needs to learn to live in soil you plant it in. Add some root stimulator and water it in well. Add 2-3 inches of native mulch in a circle about 5-6 feet across. Don't place the mulch up against the trunk of the tree*leave about 3-6 inches. Water the new tree once per week for the first season. Place the hose at the base of the tree and let it barely run for a couple of hours so that it approximately fills the hole you dug.
After they're established, shrubs normally don't need any more water than they get from rain.
If you prune your oak trees, be sure to paint as soon as you cut.

Turf Grass
This is a good month to plant bermuda or buffalo seed or sod your lawn to get it established before winter sets in. Keep the seeds MOIST for about 10 days or so*until the seeds sprout. Then back off on the watering.

Vegetables
Protect young seedlings from hot sun. Old sheer-curtains do a great job. Mulching with oak leaves does a great job, too. 3-4 inches of leaves help keep the soil cool, stops weeds from germinating, and helps hold in the moisture.
It's time to plant squash, bush beans, cucumbers, radishes, carrots, beets, sweet corn, and potatoes.

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Please add the following to the bottom of the October Gardening Calender at:

http://www.plantanswers.com/garden_calendar/oct_nov.htm

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October Calendar by Dr. Tom Harris

Color
You can plant roses this month through the winter.
Use lots of compost and don't plant them any deeper than they were in the pot. They should be blooming now. Keep them watered and sprayed weekly.
Put your spring bulbs in the ground in October and November.
Divide iris, phlox, daylilies, Shasta daisies, and other perennials. Give half to the neighbors.
Sow wildflower seeds this month. The seeds must make contact with the soil to germinate. Keep them moist until they sprout.
Plant perennials now through December. Move any misplaced perennials that have already bloomed.
Plant winter annuals this month except for pansies.

Fruits and Nuts
Continue watering pecan trees weekly. Harvest pecans as they fall to the ground*their quality declines quickly.
Watch for rust on figs, plums, and peaches. Use wettable sulfur to slow defoliation. When the leaves are ready to drop, apply Kocide 101 in late October or early November to peaches and plums*preventive treatment for bacterial leaf spot next spring. Be sure to follow label instructions. Use a fungicide labeled for rust on figs or peaches.
Refrigerate bulbs for 6 weeks in a paper bag.

Ornamentals
Dig and store caladium bulbs for winter.
This is a great time to plant perennials--columbine, old-fashioned roses, perennial asters, blue plumbago, rock rose, Shasta daisies, daylilies and irises.
Reduce house plant fertilization by one-half during the late fall and winter.

Shade Trees and Shrubs
This is the absolute best time to plant trees. Do some comparison shopping if you're planning on buying large trees. Ask about delivery, planting, and warranties.
As they start to fall, collect leaves and put them in the compost pile.
Do not fertilize trees and shrubs now. It will stimulate new growth which might freeze later.
Use hollies and nandinas for foundation plantings. They come in every size and color.
Consider some other types of trees this fall*Montezuma cypress, Arizona cypress, cedar elm, Chinese pistache, Lacey oak, Monterrey oak, Mexican sycamore, and bur oak.

Turf Grass
Apply pre-emergent herbicide to prevent winter weeds.
If you must water, do it in the early morning. Wet grass overnight will induce fungal problems. A dry lawn is better than brown patch.
If you want a green lawn all winter, overseed with rye grass at the rate of 6 pounds per 1000 square feet.

Vegetables
Plant cole crops such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kohlrabi, and Brussels sprouts.
Control caterpillars with Bt.
Plant garlic cloves and 1015 onion seeds.
Plant fall herbs.
Apply one cup of slow-release lawn fertilizer to every 10 feet of row in the veggie garden. ¼ cup to each tomato plant.
Use Bt products if cabbage loopers show up.
Plant your spinach toward the end of the month.
If you have nematode problems in your garden, forego a fall garden and go with Elbon rye. Add compost, fertilizer, till and seed.

September Calendar by Dr. Tom Harris

Color

*Know flowers' mature heights and widths and plant for maximum visibility.

*Add compost to your flowerbeds for a little extra kick that tired flowers need.

*Add instant color by planting annuals such as ornamental kale, calendula, Dianthus, snapdragons, stock, fall aster, marigolds, and phlox.

*Continue to feed patio plants and hanging baskets with a water-soluble fertilizer such as 20-20-20 or Hasta-gro.

*Rejuvenate heat stressed geraniums and begonias by lightly pruning, fertilizing and watering.

*Divide perennials like daylily and iris now. Give half to the neighbors and replant the other half.

*Add generous amounts of compost to all beds.

*If you order bulbs for spring, now is the time to order them. Put them in a paper bag in the frig for 6-8 weeks before planting.

*Picking flowers frequently encourages more flowers.

*Firebush and fall asters should be blooming this month.

*Christmas cactus can be made to flower by supplying 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness and cool nights (55 degrees F.) for a month, starting mid-October. Keep plants on the dry side for a month prior to treatment.


Fruits and Nuts

*Keep your pecans watered if you want full nuts. One inch per week over the area covered by the crown is sufficient.


Ornamentals

*Caladiums need plenty of water this month. It wouldn't hurt to fertilize them with about one pound of 19-5-9 per 100 square feet of bed.


Shade Trees and Shrubs

*Check out the requirements for trees and do your planning before planting any. Find out the mature height and width. Don't plant any tree closer then 25 feet to any structure. Plant trees and shrubs this month. Dig the hole the same depth as the container the tree came in and 2-3 times as wide. Don't add anything to the soil when you replace it-the tree needs to learn to live in soil you plant it in. Add 2-3 inches of native mulch in a circle about 5-6 feet across. Don't place the mulch up against the trunk of the tree-leave about 3-6 inches. Water the new tree once per week for the first season. Place the hose at the base of the tree and let it barely run for a couple of hours so that it approximately fills the hole you dug.

*After they're established, shrubs normally don't need any more water than they get from rain.

*If you prune your oak trees, be sure to paint as soon as you cut.


Turf Grass

*This is a good month to plant Bermuda grass seed or sod your lawn to get it established before winter sets in. Keep the seeds MOIST for about 10 days or so-until the seeds sprout. Then back off on the watering.


Vegetables

*Protect young seedlings from hot sun. Old sheer-curtains do a great job. Mulching with oak leaves does a great job, too. 3-4 inches of leaves help keep the soil cool, stops weeds from germinating, and helps hold in the moisture.

*It's time to plant squash, bush beans, cucumbers, radishes, carrots, beets, sweet corn, and potatoes.



 


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