Are you starting to see the signs in your garden that fall is right around the corner? Here are some September gardening tips and to-dos for your Pacific Northwest garden during this month of transition.
September is a big month of transition when it comes to gardening.
I don’t know about you but I still see plenty of summer flowers blooming and warm temperatures. But I’m also finding a lot of spent perennials and annuals that need to be cleaned up right now.
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I’m a self-taught hobby gardener, not a Master Gardener. Everything I share with you on my blog is my personal opinion and things that have worked for me personally.
September Gardening To-Dos
This is always a confusing month for me in the garden. Two seasons are basically happening at once in September.
In this transitional phase, there will still be plenty of deadheading, harvesting, and weeding as usual, as well as continuing to control weeds, pests, and diseases in the garden.
Here are some September gardening tips and things to do in your Pacific Northwest garden.
1. Continue to Deadhead Your Spent Blooms
Deadheading is the removal of dead flower heads from a plant to encourage growth by putting more energy into blooms for the remainder of their growing season. Be sure to snip off any spent blooms on annuals and perennials through fall.
2. Harvest Vegetables and Flowers
Keep up on harvesting your garden edibles this month such as tomatoes, peppers, green beans, and zucchini.
Dig potatoes when their tops die down.
Harvest onions when the tops start to fall over. Be sure to stop watering onions when the stems turn yellow to force them into dormancy.
3. Collect Seeds from This Year’s Garden for Next Year
You can save seeds from many types of plants you grew this summer to sow for next year’s garden. This has actually worked out well for me because there have been a few times when I’ve loved a certain cut flower and the variety was no longer available.
The best plants for saving seeds are open-pollinated plants and heirlooms because the seeds usually grow into plants that look just like the parent plants.
My friends and I often swap seeds with one another which really cuts down the cost of buying seed packets each year.
4. Keep Weeds Under Control
Continue to keep up on weeds in the garden in September so they don’t steal water and nutrients from other plants in your garden, but also so they don’t get out of control and become an even bigger chore later down the line.
It can be much easier to pull weeds if they are wet, after a rain storm, or by watering them deeply before the task.
5. Control Pests in Your September Garden
Continue applying slug bait to areas in the garden where slug’s favorite flowers are such as dahlias, zinnias, and marigolds. I use Sluggo which is safe for pets and wildlife.
Other slug-killing methods include a small container of beer, an evening of slug hunting with a flashlight, and your favorite slug-killing tool,
Use the water spray from a hose or insecticidal soap spray to keep aphids, spider mites, and other sap-sucking pests from your favorite flowers.
6. Plant and Sow in September
NEW TREES AND SHRUBS
September is an ideal time to plant new trees and shrubs in the garden.
The soil is still warm and the roots have enough time to establish before it starts to freeze. If the weather is warmer than usual for the month I will usually wait until mid to end of September to plant these.
COOL SEASON EDIBLES
Plant cool season veggies such as…
Are some of your areas in the garden looking tired? September is a great time to refresh your garden containers, window boxes, and planters with new colors by planting fall annuals. There are many options that will replace your spent summer flowers beautifully.
- ornamental cabbage
- ornamental kale
- ornamental grasses
7. Order Spring Bulbs and Plant in the Fall
If you haven’t done so already, order your spring bulbs to plant from September to mid-November depending on your area’s average first frost date.
8. Keep Your Garden Hydrated
Now is not the time to stop watering your garden plants. Continue to water until the fall rains establish.
9. Control Plants with Disease
September is a very busy time of year for powdery mildew, so remember to remove any infested diseased leaves on your garden plants to keep them from spreading.
10. Give the Peonies Some Love
Dividing, transplanting, and planting new peonies can be done this month.
I hope this gives you an idea of some gardening to-dos that need to be done here in the Pacific Northwest for the month of September. This is a month of major transition but there is still plenty of beauty in your flower gardens right now so ENJOY!
Please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.
Until next time,
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I’d like to be able to start saving flower seeds. If you have the time, I’d love a to know how you save the seeds and where you store them. Thank you for your blog!
I always love seeing your garden. Living in the lower Midwest many plants here are starting to look “tired”, but the main harbinger of fall is the change in light. New shadows and shade during usual sunny times of the day. I try to leave my container plants out till “the end” because of the migrating hummingbirds. I need to collect seeds this year, especially the mini zinnias. Happy late summer, Kim.