As the days grow shorter and the temperatures get either downright pleasant, or just a little less unbearable depending on what part of the country you’re in, you’re likely wondering what steps you can take in your garden. Its an odd time of year, as the harvest of ripe produce lines coincides with the approach of dormancy for many plants. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do out there, though. Read on for a few things to do in September.
1. Remove any diseased plants from your garden. Dying and rotten plants are one thing–they can actually add nutrients to the soil. Disease is another. If you’ve noticed any plants fighting a losing battle to fungus, blight or bugs, but haven’t had a chance to remove them in the summertime bustle, now is the time to get rid of them before they spread sickness. Things like Late Blight and many sorts of pests will not be killed by cool weather.
2. Water any shade-preferring plants, but don’t fertilize them! The former will help bud growth in the spring, while the later will simply encourage late-season growth, which could damage delicate growths.
3. Harvest. This may be somewhat self-explanatory given the season, but with harvest comes many related tasks! Now is the time for canning fruit, pickling or freezing veggies and drying herbs, so you can have produce all winter long.
4. Deadhead your flowers. It may be time to harvest produce, but most of your flowers still have more to give. Now is the time to deadhead them, so they continue blooming right up until the first front. Do let a few go to seed, though, as this will help hungry birds find sustenance in the colder months.
5. Plant any pumpkins for Halloween? Now is the time to get them out of the shade and prop them off the ground as much as possible. These steps will, respectively, stimulate growth and head off rot.
6. If you’re a deer hunter you likely already know this, but now is the time to plant beets, broccoli, cauliflower, snap peas, chard and more. These cool weather crops absolutely thrive in soil temps just over 40-degrees Fahrenheit, and thus do well until a couple weeks before the frostline. The flavor on beets and carrots in particular improves the colder the soil gets. To prepare the soil for this, add plenty of compost or manure to your garden soil, along with a slow-release fertilizer. As the colder soil gets, the harder packed it becomes, also loosen the soil up to about a foot beneath the surface, so the roots have room to grow. Once your seeds are planted, well spread and about twice as deep as they are wide, tamp the soil firmly and keep it wet. Once the seeds have developed a bit, mulch to keep the temperature more stable and retain moisture.
Autumn will be here before we know it folks. Enjoy your time out in the garden while it lasts!
A humble homesteader based in an undisclosed location, Lars Drecker splits his time between tending his little slice of self-sustaining heaven, and bothering his neighbors to do his work for him. This is mainly the fault of a debilitating predilection for fishing, hunting, camping and all other things outdoors. When not engaged in any of the above activities, you can normally find him broken down on the side of the road, in some piece of junk he just “fixed-up.”