September Garden Work – Fall Planting Time


September Is Fall-planting Time as we welcome cooler weather and Autumn rains we should take advantage of both to do our Fall planting. First of all come the Spring flowering bulbs. Narcissus, scillas, crocus, grape hyacinths and other small bulbs need to be put in early in order to give them time enough to develop a strong root system before the advent of cold weather. Tulips, because they bloom later in the Spring, can be planted next month or even later. If you have been in the habit of buying the showy varieties, try for a change some of the dainty species.

Move Shrubs and Trees Now

If you have a few shrubs that you want to move to another part of the garden, do it now. Generally, the Fall is the best time to transplant trees and shrubs, as they will be ready to bloom when Spring rolls around. This is especially true of lilacs and other kinds that flower early in the season. Remember only that thin-barked ones, like magnolia, dogwood, birch, redbud, beech, silverbell and yellow-wood must wait for the Spring.

grape hyacinths

Color from Annuals

Who is there who does not like flowering plants in the house during the Fall and Winter months? What is simple about it is that it is possible to lift small, bushy annuals from the garden and plant them in pots singly or in groups of three or more. Placed indoors in a cool, sunny window they will give you gay color when your gardens have once again gone to sleep. To get the best results, lift the plants with a ball of earth as soon as possible, and after potting, place on the porch or terrace or some spot in the garden so they will become established before moving indoors. Calendulas, marigolds, sweet alyssum, ageratum, snapdragon and verbena are a few that you might try.

Make a Coldframe

As coldframes are useful in many ways, make sure you have one in some corner of your garden. They are indispensable for wintering over tender perennials or seedling perennials that you want to bloom next year. They are needed for cuttings of trees and shrubs you started during the Summer. If you do not have a coldframe, you can make one easily- yourself. There are books in your library that give simple directions which even the novice can follow.

Some Never-ending Chores

Chores in the garden are endless, though especially in the Spring and Fall when gardens are at transition periods. It does not take long for a perennial border to become overgrown, and if that is the case with you, lift and divide your plants the first chance you get. In so doing, mix well-rotted manure or other organic material into the soil along with bonemeal. The general rule to keep in mind is to avoid moving the more tender kinds and those that flower in the late Summer or in the Fall. For these, Spring division is best. If time does not permit this undertaking now, get around to your peonies at least, as the Fall is by far the best time to do it. Set the eyes no more than two inches below the surface of the soil. Deeper setting will result in no bloom.


A Glance at the Eating Garden

Vegetable plants that have come to their end should be pulled and dumped on the compost heap. Those that carry over diseases or the eggs of insect pests should not be risked – burning them is the only safeguard. Squashes and pumpkins are better permitted to ripen on the vines, but if frosts intervene, store in a warm place so they can continue with the ripening processes. Grapes also need this treatment. It is necessary to let them stay on the vines as long as possible. This is a good time as well to plant strawberries. To do the job now will not only relieve pressure in the Spring, but the experts say that Fall-set plants produce 40 per cent more fruit than Spring-planted ones. Be sure to mulch them for the Winter.

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