September is an excellent time to put in a new
lawn. Cool weather with periodic rainfall is ideal for grass
seeds to germinate and become established. Choose seed mixtures
that are suited for your location. Bluegrass varieties work well
in sunny areas and fescues grow well in shady areas. Do not plant
If you didn’t core aerate
your lawn in the spring, do it now.
When the weather
cools down, dig and divide perennial herbs and flowers. You
can plant or transplant trees and shrubs.
Clean up plant debris from the
yard and garden. Shred and chop vines and corn stalks before
composting. Compost debris before it begins to harbor pests and
diseases. Do not put quack grass, diseased plants or weed seeds
on a compost pile. Do a final weeding to remove weeds before
they go to seed and spread.
Dead twigs and branches on Western
red cedars, arborvitae and some pines are normal at this time
of year. This “flagging” is a response to cool temperatures
and moisture stress.
Green firewood can harbor beetles that
pose a threat to garden trees. Eliminate beetles by piling wood into
stacks no more than 4 feet high, wide and deep. Cover each stack
with a clear plastic sheet. Bury the edges of the plastic and tape
the seams; sunlight will do the rest, cooking the beetles within
a few weeks.
or dig compost, rotted sawdust, manure and other organic matter
into the soil. Fairly warm temperatures will give these additions
a chance to begin breaking down before the ground freezes.
don't need the sun to ripen. Bring in green tomatoes if they
have lost their bright green color. They will ripen to red
on an indoor windowsill.
hard frost can damage winter squash and pumpkins. Harvest them
when their rinds resist puncturing with a fingernail and when
the vines near the stem end begin to wither. Bring them indoors
to a warm room for a couple weeks before storing them in a cool
should be picked before they're completely ripe, but not too
early. Pick while they are still firm, but after the bright green
color begins to mellow. Pears should come off the tree easily
with a twisting upward pull. If they don't come off the spur
easily, they are not ready.
centers offer spring-flowering bulbs this month. Choose your
favorites as well as trying new ones.
general rule of thumb for planting spring
bulbs is to plant them two and a half times as deep as they are
wide. Include some bulb fertilizer and bone meal in the planting
hole and water a few times before the ground freezes.