The Best Things To Do For Your Yard In September

The Best Things To Do For Your Yard In September

The tourists might come to the Cape in the summer, but those of us who live here know that one of the best months to be on Cape Cod is September. It’s also a great time to be outside in your yard and garden. Here are a few things that you can do this month into early October that will make your landscape healthier and more beautiful.

  1. Put a light application of Holly-tone under and just beyond the drip-line of your Rhododendrons, holly, and other evergreen shrubs.  You can use this same fertilizer on your Hydrangeas as well.
  2. Apply an inch of compost (I love the Coast of Maine composts) or composted manure (Moo Doo!) on top of that fertilizer around any shrub that “needs a boost.” This works wonders for pale holly or yellowing rhodys, newly planted shrubs and anything growing in older beds where the soil has gotten compacted.
  3. Transplant perennials that need to be relocated. Even if the plants are still looking great, it’s better to move them in September so that there is a longer period when they can get roots reestablished.
  4. Renovate lawns. September is the perfect time to aerate, seed, top-dress with compost or loam, and repair bare spots. It’s a good time to dig up unwanted bent grass, or large areas of weeds and seed these places with desirable types of turf.
  5. Apply an anti desiccant such as Wilt Pruf to your broadleaf evergreens such as Rhododendrons, Holly, Pieris and laurels.
  6. Think about which potted plants or houseplants will be moved inside after spending the summer out-of-doors. Pick up some yellow White Fly Traps, insecticidal soap and Captain Jack’s spinosad to control fungus gnats and other small insects that might come inside on the plants. Start watering your plants with spinosad in the watering can now, a week or two before the plants come in to kill fungus gnat larvae. Spray the plants with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil to kill adult insects on the plants. And once the plants are inside, hang the yellow trap near the plants to catch random gnats and whiteflies.
  7. And don't forget to pick flowers and bring them in for small bouquets. We need to celebrate the season indoors and out!

    And don’t forget to pick flowers and bring them in for small bouquets. We need to celebrate the season indoors and out! Clip flowers from your shrubs, pots, perennials and annuals all September.

12 Comments

  1. Nancy on September 14, 2017 at 9:22 am

    Great tips, thank you!

  2. Susan on September 14, 2017 at 9:55 am

    Should I put Holly tone and compost around my roses too?

    • CLFornari on September 14, 2017 at 12:06 pm

      Yes – you can use Holly-tone, Rose-tone, or Flower-tone around roses in the fall and the compost will make them think they’re in heaven!

  3. Anne on September 14, 2017 at 10:58 am

    If I fertilizw rhodies and evergreens in the fall, should I do it again in the spring?

    • CLFornari on September 14, 2017 at 12:05 pm

      It depends on how much fertilizer you use in the fall, Anne, and how good your soil is. If you have sandy soil, a light spring application is good. It’s also good if your Rhododendrons look yellow.

  4. Catherine Logan on September 14, 2017 at 11:53 am

    I feel it is also a great time to splurge on some of the deeply discounted perennials. Its a chance to buy some of the plants I felt I couldn’t afford in the spring. I have to give myself a definite end date or I am tempted to plant way too late. I have found that planting by the end of September or early October the plants winter over without a problem. A dressing of Lobster Compost, which has few if any weed seeds, has helped them get a great start.

  5. Judy on September 14, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    What should be used on 1 year old Rose of Sharons that look yellow and are now dropping their leaves?
    Thanks

    • CLFornari on September 21, 2017 at 3:07 pm

      Put a light application of Flower-tone around the Rose of Sharons in October. Other than that, it’s natural that they start to shut down for the winter.

  6. Susan on September 19, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    As always, I learn so much from you. Thank you.

    • CLFornari on September 21, 2017 at 3:01 pm

      Glad you enjoy the blog, Susan!

  7. Barbara Joyce on September 21, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    Can I add hollytone right on top of the bark mulch I spread in the spring? Will it work its way down? Thanks.

    • CLFornari on September 21, 2017 at 2:59 pm

      Yes, normally you can put Hollytone right on top of the mulch…but if the mulch layer has gotten too thick (3″ or more) you might want to move it aside first and refrain from mulching for a year or two.

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