Top 6 Gardening Must-Do’s for September - The Bend Magazine

Top 6 Gardening Must-Do’s for September

It’s time for fall veggies and citrus, refreshing your landscape, and fertilizing your lawn.

Words and Photos: Gill Garden Center + Landscape Co.

Fall gardening season is here and September is an action-packed month! It’s time for fall veggies and citrus, refreshing your landscape, and fertilizing your lawn. Here are our top 6 must-do’s right now for a beautiful Fall season. 

1. Plant Veggies, Herbs, Citrus, and Fruits!


It’s time! Tomatoes, peppers, & warm weather edibles should be planted by now, or at least early this month. Plant cool-weather veggies & herbs anytime this month and remember to shelter them from the scorching sun and keep watered. Seeds of cool weather crops like turnips, beets, and radish should be started now. Carrots and greens should be planted later in September and into October. Here is our Fall veggie planting schedule. And save space for citrus trees, figs & other fruits to round off your garden grocery store! ICYMI:  watch Josh’s guide to planting citrus trees

2. Prune Tired Plants to Encourage New Growth


Trim tired shrubs, roses, and perennials that have the “too much summer” look to them. Trimming removes that tired look and promotes new growth. In the Fall, a good rule of thumb is to cut back about 1/3 – don’t cut too much, and don’t cut too late. Do it now so your new growth gets established (aka ‘hardens off’) before a cold wind has a chance to damage it. Follow up your pruning with a dose of organic plant food like Hasta Gro or Plant Tone to get them looking fresh again.

3. Plant to Attract and Assist Birds


After the big freeze earlier this year, it’s even more important to help provide for birds whose habitat and food sources are still growing back. This month starts the migration of hummingbirds, Orioles, Flycatchers, Warblers, and Buntings. Here are some of their favorite plants to eat. Have a clean water source too (like a fountain or birdbath) so they can stop for a drink. 

• Hummingbirds: Firebush (hamelia patens), Firecracker Plant (Russelia) 

• Orioles: Blackberries, figs, coral bean, and slices of fruit attached to tree limbs

• Buntings: Ornamental grasses & seed-producing plants. 


4. Plant Trees and Shrubs


Plants that are cold hardy (trees and woody shrubs) will benefit greatly by planting during our Fall season. They’re under less heat stress, so they grow more roots, making them stronger and ready to “take off” next Spring. More roots, stronger plants, better success! Oak trees, Crape Myrtles, Hawthorns, Lantana, Plumbago, Boxwoods and a host of others should be planted starting this month.

5. Prime Time to Fertilize Your Lawn


September 15 to October 15 is the window of opportunity to fertilize your lawn. We love organic Medina Growin’ Green or our tried and true Gill Lawn and Garden Food. You want to fertilize while the grass is still actively growing so it absorbs the food. Don’t wait until the grass goes dormant, because it won’t take up the nutrients. Also, top dressing with Nature’s Blend compost aids in deeper root systems helps control some fungal diseases like Take All Root Rot and makes for healthier soil.

6. Plant Wildflower Seeds!


September is the best time to plant wildflower seeds. Fall rains help wildflowers like Bluebonnets grow strong and have beautiful blooms next Spring. Choose an area with good sunlight cleared of weeds or unwanted plants. Rake clean, sow seeds, cover with soil, water, and wait for the transformation!