September: Barn Owl Monthly To-Do List

Every feel a lost or behind on what you should be doing with your lawn and garden? We understand and we’ve seen many people rush to get bulbs planted, insecticides purchase, seeds planted and more last minute. Each month, we’ll teach you when to do almost everything in the garden—from planting to pruning shrubs, to amending garden soil and repotting houseplants.

September can be unpredictable in the Midwest, and it can range from sunny and mild to mid-summer heat temps and excessive rainfall. Fall is a busy time of year no matter where you live. But hard work in the fall gives you the best chance at producing a great garden in the spring. See below for what you should be focusing on this September!

1. Plant Annuals

September is an ideal time to add annual flowers like begonias, ageratum, zinnia and celosia. Be sure to water them often for the first week or two to help them settle and get established. If you want to provide a little more assistance, mulching them helps maintain good soil moisture.

2. Add Mums and Fall Colors

Need instant fall coloring in your garden? Add those mums and pansies to beds, borders, and containers. These easy-care plants relish cool weather and provide an injection of color in your September Garden. Search for stocky plants that are still in bud so they’ll last a little longer.

3. Get Your Bulbs

If you want gorgeous spring flowers to burst through the dreariness of the end of winter, then you should be planting your bulbs now. Planting in September gives your bulbs enough time to develop roots before the cold winter temps and frozen ground sets in.

4. Clean Up Vegetable Garden

Clean up the veggie patch, pulling spent crops. Be sure to gather all plant debris — stem, leaf and fruit bits. Remember – you don’t want to compost diseased plants. This can continue to spread disease. Be sure to discard them!

5. Improve Your Soil

Autumn weather is great for good lawn establishment. Feed your lawn with an autumn fertilizer which is rich in potassium and low in nitrogen. If you want to protect your soil from wind erosion during the winter, sow a cover crop of annual rye grass now in September. It grows quickly and keeps the soil in place until spring. By then, the grass will be dead, and you can turn it under to add an extra dose of nitrogen to your soil.

Think of your spring gardens when you’re working this September on prepping, cleaning up and adding some beautiful colors to your home. Even though this month can be unpredictable, it’s a great time to invest in your garden, lawn and home for a beautiful winter and spring. How are you planning on prepping your garden this September? Let us know in the comments.

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