September To Do List
What to Do!
The cool weather has finally arrived, heralding in a new spate of chores in the garden to get you well prepared for the spring. Put away the BBQ, and pull up those galoshes because a little extra sweat now will pay off with large dividends next year when you really want to enjoy the garden.
For the lawn:
If necessary, wire rake to remove thatch build up, and aerate.
Use a fall fertilizer with a higher potassium percentage (the last number) and phosphorous (the middle number) than nitrogen (the first number) to encourage a strong root system and general good health and hardiness of your grass. Our Fall Turf/ Winterizer (6-8-20) has all the nutrients you need—including iron and magnesium to promote good fall colour—to give your lawn a great lay over until the spring.
Time to renovate new lawns by over seeding with either our Excel-Gro Insta Patch or Shady Turf for sun depleted areas. Now is the time to lay new sod if not overseeding.
For perennial beds:
Don’t procrastinate! Quickly get to the store to buy your spring bulbs; the rare and unusual sell like pancakes, and the well-loved stand bys get purchased in mass quantities. Remember to plant with bone meal and use bulb dust if bulb rot is a problem in your garden.
Replace tired, scraggly annuals with fall-blooming perennial such as asters and Japanese anemones or interesting evergreen perennials such as euphorbia, heucheras and ornamental grasses. Pansies, violas, mums, wallflowers, kale and cabbage also make nice colourful additions to the fall/winter garden or planters.
Divide and move perennials on a damp day (when you least feel like it, and congratulate yourself afterwards with a luscious hot toddy)
Top dress your beds with Sea Soil or compost; it helps to insulate the root crowns for winter, prevent perennial weeds from growing in the fall/winter, and adds much needed nutrients ready for the spring.
For vegetable beds:
Top dress with either Sea Soil or mushroom manure to prepare beds for spring.
Plant a cover crop of either Fall Rye or Legume and Fall Rye blend. It will add nitrogen to the soil, repel weeds, and aerate the soil—when you dig into the soil in the spring before you plant your veggies, the composting remnants will add even more to your garden!
Plant your winter veggies! Garlic, leeks, chard, broccoli, chard and kale should go in now. Early blooming varieties of sweet peas can also be sown now.
For shrubbery and trees:
Fall is truly the best time to plant your trees and shrubs. They will be able to get a good root purchase before spring emerges and the poor things have to put on new foliage, branches, flowers and just generally work quite hard (as it gets hotter and drier!)
Lightly prune back hedges and other evergreen shrubs (except those that flower like rhodos, azaleas etc.) as desired.
Lightly prune summer flowering heathers and lavender to keep them from getting too woody.
Prune climbing roses and lightly prune any of the larger shrub roses to prevent wind damage.
Stop fertilizing any and all outdoor trees and shrubs. Fertilizing should stop mid to end of summer, with high nitrogen fertilizers ending in early summer.
For fruit trees:
Purchase our Dormant Spray Kit, which contains a combination of Lime Sulphur and Horticultural Oil. Essential for growing healthy fruit tress in the Lower Mainland! Kills off over wintering fungus’ and pests, and should be applied after leaves have fallen from the trees. Apply in fall and in early spring (usually a warm day in February) before the buds have emerged.
For indoor houseplants:
Most indoor houseplants should be fertilized only sparingly throughout fall and winter, once every three months is adequate. It is more important to be aware that with the turning up of the furnace, they require additional humidity and should be placed in brighter locations as the daylight diminishes.