SEPTEMBER GARDENING THOUGHTS!

IN THE GARDEN

LAWN CARE

The best time to seed new lawns is mid-August through mid- September, but only if you can water newly seeded areas daily until the grass germinates, and frequently after that until it is well established. Fertilize bluegrass, fescue and rye grass lawns between now and November.

I have noticed a lot of annual bluegrass (pao annua) around this summer. It is extremely, I mean EXTREMELY, difficult to get rid of. I know the lawn companies like to aerate in the fall, but when you think about it this really isn’t the time of the year to be aerating. Spring is the best time because the grass is actively growing and this stimulates better and deeper root growth. I would try a fall preemergent to reduce the number of viable pao annua seeds (seeds germinate late September to October). Then do the aeration in the Spring with fertilizer and weed killer. Of course, if you are seeding you can’t use the preemergent.

They healthier and thicker the lawn the less likelihood of having weed grasses like, bentgrass and annual bluegrass. But this means a lot of attention to the lawn

AROUND THE GARDEN


September rains can be fairly “wishy washy” (pun intended) so pay attention to watering! September rains can be fairly “wishy washy” (pun intended) so pay attention to watering!

Continue to fertilize annuals with a water soluble fertilizer up until the first frost for the best flowering. Don't give perennials any more fertilizer this year - new growth may not have time to harden off properly before winter.

The end of summer is a good time to examine your garden critically and plan for next year--while your triumphs and disappointments are still fresh in your mind. Take pictures, make notes. Which combinations worked? Which didn't work so well? Are there certain times of the year when color or interest was sparse (i.e., great display of daffodils in April, then nothing but ugly foliage until summer-blooming perennials came into flower?) Did some plants crowd others out or fight for the same space because you couldn't imagine they'd get as large as they did? Are you ready to rethink your garden with drought-tolerance as a main criterion? Fall is a great time to plant trees, shrubs and perennials - for us as well as the plants. Planting in the fall gives plants a chance to concentrate on developing good root systems without the stress of summer heat. Give your new plants a good start by digging in "Bumper Crop", compost or other soil amendments to improve the drainage and texture of your soil, and then watering in the plants with one of the plant starters or one of the water holding gels.

Toward the end of the month and into October, plant pansies and mums to replace tired annuals. Pansies love cool weather - they will bloom past the first frosts of the fall. Pansies planted in the ground could possibly survive winter. Pansies need well drained soil and at least a half day of sun; violas will do well with less sun.

Plant mums in pots or in the ground to add color to your fall garden. Mums need a spot where they will get at least half a day of direct sun, preferably more. Most people use them as annuals because it takes some work to get full bushy plants that look as good the second year as they did when you bought them. Mums as perennials can be pretty touchy, but many do survive winter.

Plant spring-flowering bulbs this fall for a spectacular display in the spring. Irises are best planted now.

Feed bulbs with a good bulb fertilizer.

Prune evergreens lightly now if you need to shape them, but save major pruning until early next year. Pruning stimulates new growth which may not have time to harden off before winter.

Now is also the time to clean-up your Iris beds and get rid of dead leaves. This is also the time to divide bulbs older than three years. If your iris leaves are flopping, you may have iris borers. Moths lay eggs on the leaves in the spring. When the eggs hatch, the larvae move down the foliage and bore in the fleshy root, eating it and rotting it out. Dig up plants, cut out the larvae and damaged roots. Replant healthy roots. Do not mulch irises and plant to the level of the ground.

Cut off spent flower stalks and ugly or diseased foliage to neaten the appearance of the garden to prevent diseases from overwintering. Leave seed heads on your black-eyed susans; they're a great food source for goldfinches.

Mark any perennials whose tags are missing so you'll know where they are when they die back at the end of the season. There are at least three reasons for this; to know where to look for them in the spring as you anxiously wait for them to break dormancy; to know what they are when they come up; and to avoid digging up something you intended to keep when you plant bulbs late this fall or early flowering plants - such as ranunculus, primrose or poppies - next spring.

For more tips and information go to the Buckeye Yard and Garden Newletter at:

Buckeye Yard and Garden Newletter



Good Luck and Good Gardening To You!

Stu Lewis, Web Master
Hilliard Area Garden Club