September To Do List

hairy vetch courtesy of Burpee

Plant: ornamental & wildlife

  • Late month: Perennials, shrubs, ornamental (clumping) grasses
  • Late month: Cover crops for dormant vegetable beds: clover, hairy vetch, elbon (cereal) rye, Austrian winter peas, or annual rye

Plant: herbs

    Perennial herbs like thyme, rosemary, oregano

Plant: food crops


  • Early month:  lightly prune roses and perennials
  • Oak trees safe to prune


  • Iris, daylily, fern, liriope, spring-blooming perennials, violets, cannas


  • Add compost to vegetable gardens along with organic fertilizer in prep for winter vegetables
  • Decide wildflower seeds and bulbs to plant in November


  • Brown patch: Apply a quarter inch of compost. Apply corn meal. Find out what’s causing the problem like low drainage spots or compacted areas.
  • Apply corn gluten as a weed pre-emergent. Results are erratic but it does add some nitrogen to the soil
  • Mow high to fend off weed seeds that germinate in September’s rains. Taller grass shades them out.

Other tasks

  • If fall webworms are a problem, puncture webs with broom handle for wasps to naturally control. Or spray with Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt).

Tips for all 12 months