September is a pivotal month for your landscape, with the official arrival of Autumn later this month, and hopefully, a return to cooler and wetter weather. It’s the gateway month between summer and fall gardening so get outside and improve your landscape.
September is the time to apply lawn fertilizer to keep the grass healthy and growing up to the first frost. Always follow the directions on the package and avoid over fertilizing, which will only damage your lawn.
Sow Spring Wildflowers (like Bluebonnets) seed now. For more reliable, uniform seed germination of our State flower, purchase acid-treated Bluebonnets seed. This treatment pits the seed coat, allowing nearly 100% germination in one to two weeks.
Divide your perennial about every third or fourth year to prevent overcrowded beds. Spread a liberal amount of organic matter evenly over the area and mix into the soil at least 6 to 8 inches deep. Space divisions at least one foot apart in all directions so root competition will not be a problem for several years.
September is an excellent month to begin planting trees and most shrubs. Fall landscaping done now will be well-rooted by next Spring and Summer.
Purchase Spring blooming bulbs as soon as they become available. Tulips and Hyacinths should be stored in a refrigerator until November.
Plant your fall vegetable garden. Plant cool-season vegetable garden with transplants of Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Chard, Collards, Lettuce, Kale, Endive and Mustard. Water your new vegetables and lightly top-dress with mulch to discourage weeds.
Replenish mulch in beds for winter protection. Change irrigation frequency with the shorter, cooler days of fall. Clean up debris from annual and perennial beds so insects won’t winter there.
With the Holiday decorations all packed away revive those empty indoor spaces in your home with living breathing houseplants! Researchers for NASA while developing technology that would allow humans to live in a closed environment on the moon or Mars, discovered that houseplants are the quickest and most effective filters of common dangerous air pollutants. One medium-sized houseplant is needed every 100 square feet of living area to achieve this natural filtering of the air in your home. With the great variety of houseplants you can dress up a room and make the air better too. Keep the leaves clear of dust since most pollutants are absorbed by the leaves.
It may be chilly outside at this time of the year, but winter is a perfect time for a number of outdoor chores. Just consider how much better outdoor chores like soil preparation, planting, transplanting and pruning can be done without toiling in hot summer temperatures.
If you need to move a plant to a different spot in the landscape, this is the month to accomplish this job. Most plants move best when they are fully dormant as a result of prolonged exposure to cold temperatures. Remove some of the top growth to compensate for the inevitable loss of some of the roots. Once the plant is moved, water thoroughly, apply root stimulator, and a few inches of mulch over the root area.
January is a great month to accomplish pruning of fruit trees. Annual pruning keeps the harvest within reach, thins crowded branches, allowing more light to penetrate developing fruit and stimulates new growth for next year’s crop. Shade trees can also be pruned at this time.
Fruit trees and vines can be planted at this time as the ground usually does not freeze here in north Texas. You can also prepare the soil for new flower, rose or shrub beds by mixing plenty of organic material like compost and Calloway’s Organic Flower Bed Mix or Tree and Shrub Mix. This way the soil is ready for
immediate planting when temperatures get a little warmer.
Fertilize pansies to keep them actively growing. Houseplants can be fertilized with reduced rates of water-
soluble fertilizer this month. Do not over-water your houseplants.
Birds of all kinds appreciate a constant source of seed, suet and water during the winter and you will enjoy
the activity they create in your backyard. Just remember once you start feeding, you should keep it up
through the winter.