Garden Tasks for September


If you are like me, you are wondering how did September get here so quick.  There has been so much work in the garden this year. I am looking forward to the physical work winding down.  But not this month. The weather should be cooling down a little, and the leaves will start turning colors towards the end of the month.  However, now It is time to look at the plants we have in place, probably start the clean up for the winter garden.

Take a cup of tea, and sit on the porch or swing to look at the seed and plant catalogs. You may want to visit Green Acres or the Garden/Hardware stores to pick up plants. 

  • It is a great time to plant new trees and scrubs. There are many nice ones with fall foliage for this area of California. Examples of this include the Japanese Maples, Scarlet, and Red Oaks. Pecan and Walnut trees are also good choices.
  • Harvesting grapes, tomatoes, green beans, and squash remind us that it is time to can or preserve our garden gold for winter. There are still some places that have rims and tops for canning jars online. You should be able to obtain them in time to preserve your vegetables.
  • Pull up all the spent vegetable plants, making sure they are put into the compost bin. Some of the larger pieces should be broken into smaller pieces. I usually spray the dirt with a solution of ½ dawn to 1 gallon of water, to ensure all the pests are not hiding in the earth to attack the new plants. If you had Harlequin Bettles, be sure to use the soap mixture into the ground. If you had problems with the horned beetle, then dig around the base of your tomato plants to find the larvae.  It will look like a hard brown tubal shell about 1 inch long.
  • When cleaning out your vegetable beds, add a 4-6 inch layer of compost, peat moss, or new soil. I water the bed and let it sit a couple of days to rest. I rotate some of my beds and let them rest over the winter by planting clover, or other cover crops to replenish the nitrogen.
  • It is time to plant vegetables from seed. These seeds include radishes, kale, spinach, swiss chard, corn salad, all types of lettuce, and course onions and peas.
  • Be sure to water the newly planted beds lightly each day to give the seeds a chance to germinate.
  • Even though the weather is starting to cool down, it is essential to continue to water your lawns.  They need at least an inch of water each week. As we discussed last month, you must leave your blades on high to give the roots a chance to grow deep. Don’t cut off more than a third of the length of your grass.
  • If you need ground covers in your orchards or bare areas in your yards, now is the time to grow clover, verbena, carpet bugle, and fescue.
  • It’s a little early to prune your trees and bushes, but clean and sharpen your tools to be ready for next month.

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