Well, that was an amazing summer! So far so lovely for September, one of the most exciting months for gardening and harvest and fall fairs. Campbell Valley Fall Fair is coming up and I’m also very excited about our own Fall Garden Party coming up on September 21st and 22nd celebrating 40 years of helping folks get excited about gardening. Here’s your list but make sure you take the time to enjoy the last bits of flip flop weather!!
Here’s the list:
Once your lawn greens back up if you’ve let it become dormant you can do the whole aerating, topdressing and fall fertilizing. Make sure your fertilizer is a low nitrogen fall formula so you don’t have a major green up of your lawn right before a hard frost. There…that’s it, I’ve done it. I’ve gone and said the f-word. Frost.
Trees & Shrubs
Great time to plant new trees and shrubs, though I’d hold off moving existing ones until they are dormant. Continue to deadhead flowers as needed. Don’t panic if your leaves are less than perfect right now. If you have scab on apple leaves or rose leaves, or spots on your cherry or plum leaves I would suggest not spraying a fungicide. They’ll be dropping shortly and then you can rake, bag and send off in your green waste container rather than adding to your compost. If you had a hard time with certain apple varieties or roses this year you can either replant more resistant varieties or you can use a dormant spray in the winter. It is a good time to try surface layering or make cuttings of many of your broadleaved evergreens like Rhododendrons, Laurels, and Eleagnus to name a few, as well as some deciduous shrubs like roses.
Deadhead or tidy your garden beds but you know the drill…don’t tidy too much as many of our native solitary bees overwinter in the hollow stems of spent perennials. Once we get a few more rains and the ground is not so bone dry you can think about shuffling around some of your hardy perennials towards the end of the month. If you have some bare spots you might like to add some fall colour and interest with grasses or Rudbeckia or even some Heather.
Bulbs! Yes Bulbs!!
I usually pick up a couple of packages early when the best selection is available. Oh, if squirrels are a pain in the bulbs, you can try soaking them (the bulbs, not the squirrels) in Plantskydd an organic deer and rodent repellant before planting.
Veggie Gardens & Fruit
Harvest, harvest and harvest some more. This summer has blessed us with bumper crops enjoy! If you don’t have a veggie garden there are always some fantastic farmgate markets. Go to www.bcfarmfresh.com to find a local farm and to check hours and produce.
Time to start picking some varieties of apples and Asian Pears as well. If you have fallen apples make sure to bag up and put in your green waste container if they are unusable to help prevent coddling moth and apple maggot. You can still sow some winter veggies as well as veggies and herbs for early spring crops. I noticed the West Coast Seed lady at Art’s the other day stocking the seed racks with goodies, might have to pick up a few packs.
House plants and Patio Tropicals
Given the change of season, you might want to think about phasing your plants back inside mid-month. Make sure you bring them into a quarantine area such as laundry room or garage for about a week or so to prevent the spread of any pest or disease to your other house plants. It's also a good idea to apply a spray of soap and water to kill off bad bugs before bringing the plant inside.
Clip and take stock of your containers and the plants. Might be time to overhaul for the fall planting or even a partial overhaul by adding a few pansies, grasses or small evergreen. If they are looking great leave them be.
When your moss baskets are done, trim everything off and then use as an oasis container for hanging pine, spruce, fir and cedar bows.
The roots of the annuals hold in everything quite nicely. You can even add some holly, pinecones and old ornaments and voila, beauty and recycling together! But I am getting ahead of myself here, for now, just remember to save your moss and hanging baskets, and no you don’t have to empty them, just cut them back when its time.
That should do for now, enjoy your September and I’ll see you at the Fall Garden Party!