September is the time when gardeners begin to feel like heading back into the landscape. Sure there are some hot days but the morning and late afternoon hours can be very pleasant. Now is the time to restart the vegetable garden. You are not going to raise all the crops your family needs but how about a few.
Start with tomatoes and peppers. Fresh from the garden fruits have a great taste and just these two crops alone can save you some money. But hurry as these crops need to be in the ground soon. Also, add plantings of all the other warm season crops. Now, I have a few hints for you.
First, improve sandy soils with organic matter. You can buy bags of garden soil, peat moss and manure or you might hunt for a local source of free or inexpensive compost. If you are considering fresh manure let it compost for a while. Residents are not as resistant to animal related pests as farm families might be. The rule with fresh manure is to let it compost for about 120 days then it can be added to the garden.
Spruce up the landscape with some new flowers. Summer plants are often weary by now and some new color is a welcome site. It does not have to be big beds but just containers of color would be fine. Select from the durable types mentioned in one of this month’s features to have flowers into the fall.
Lastly complete the final feedings of the year. Toward the end of September and early October is the feeding time for lawns, shrubs, citrus and perennials. You can use a traditional fertilizer but the new slow release products give a much longer feeding time. They are also less likely to pollute and give you a full value for your money spent.
So what are you waiting for? Now is the time to get outdoors and complete many chores on the list of this month’s Gotta Do’s.
Flowers: Ageratum, angelonia, begonia, blue daze, butterfly weed, cat's whiskers, celosia,
cleome, coleus, coreopsis, cosmos, garden mums, gaura, gazania, gerbera, goldenrod,
gomphrena, heliotrope, impatiens, jacobinia, lantana, marigold, melampodium, nicotiana,
pentas, periwinkle, ruellia, salvia, sunflower, sweet alyssum, torenia, verbena and zinnia.
Vegetables: Early plantings include lima bean, snap bean, corn, cucumber, eggplant,
pepper, southern pea, rhubarb, squash, and tomato; End of the month crops include broccoli,
cabbage, celery, collard, endive, lettuce, mustard, onion, radish, strawberry and turnip.
Herbs: Anise, basil, bay laurel, borage, chives, coriander, dill, lemon balm, lavender, Mexican
tarragon, mint, parsley, rosemary, sage, sweet fennel, sweet marjoram and thyme.
Bulbs: African iris, agapanthus, amaryllis, blackberry lily, bulbine, calla lily, crinum,
crocosmia, day lily, gladiolus, kaffir lily, narcissus, society garlic, spider lily, rain lilies and