Gardening Tips for September

September marks the transition from summer to fall in the garden. The long hot days of summer give way to cooler temperatures and the opportunity to prepare your landscape for Fall. Here are some important tips for residents of the Cedar Creek Lake area.

Fertilizing and preparing your lawn for fall is critical. Grasses undergo heat stress during the hot summers and need extra care and attention. Use a slow-release fertilizer with a 16-4-12 formulation that is recommended for the turf and soil types in our area. Contact your local nursery to purchase the correct fertilizer for fall. For best results, remember to water deeply after applying.

If you want a weed-free lawn during winter and spring use a pre-emergent in September. Pre-emergents work by stopping weed seeds from germinating, so applying at the right time is important. If you are interested in organically treating your lawn, Corn Gluten can be used as an effective organic pre-emergent.

If your St. Augustine grass has dead patches due to lack of watering, chinch bugs or fungus, now is the time to replace with new sod. If you have Bermuda grass, it's best to lay down new seed before mid-September.

Fall is the best time of year to plant, especially larger trees and shrubs. Planting now allows the root systems to get established during the winter months. When Spring arrives the plant is acclimatized to its new environment and is ready to put out strong leaves, new top growth and lots of flowers. Trees and shrubs planted during the fall have a higher chance of surviving our hot summers.

Mid to late September is the best time to start planting fall color. As cooler type plants become available, look to plant snapdragons, kale, cabbage, chrysanthemums, hardy asters, dianthus, pansies, violas and dusty miller into your yard. Chrysanthemums are perennials and can add wonderful color to the garden, patio or porch blooming up to three times in a year.

Remember, vegetables are not just for spring and summer. Beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, mustard, collards, brussel sprouts, winter squash, peas, Swiss chard, lettuce, turnips, onions, and carrots are all crops that do well this time of year. Vegetables can be planted from seed or transplanted.

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