University of Vermont Extension
Department of Plant and Soil Science
PATCHING THE LAWN AND OTHER
SEPTEMBER GARDENING TIPS
Leonard Perry, UVM Extension
bare spots in the lawn, planting garlic, and rooting flower cuttings
of the gardening activities for this month.
fall is a good time to patch bare spots in your lawn -- the cooler
encourage good germination and root growth. Weeds aren’t
then either to
compete. Prepare the area by raking
thoroughly, loosening the topsoil if it is compacted, then adding a
of compost or topsoil. Cover newly seeded areas with row covers or a
scattering of straw to keep birds from eating the seed, and keep it
long as lawns are growing, keep mowing.
With the cooler days later in the fall, grass will remain vigorous,
especially if there is rain. As during
the summer, don’t mow when grass is wet, if possible. This
better cut, avoids clumps of
wet grass, and is easier on your mower.
The end of this month, or early next, with your expected last mowing,
slightly lower. This avoids tall grass
over winter, which mats down and can lead to disease in spring.
this month and into next is garlic planting time. Don't plant garlic
grocery store, because it may have been treated to prevent sprouting,
may not be adapted to your growing region. Place orders now for
for planting this fall, or buy when available at your local garden or
store. Plan to plant your garlic shortly after the first hard frost --
will allow the garlic enough time to develop strong roots before
winter. Make a note to cover later in fall with a
light layer of straw mulch.
cuttings of some flowers such as coleus, geranium, and thicker-stemmed
as sage, to bring indoors over the winter. Cut a 3-inch section of
the bottom half or two thirds of the leaves, and place in moist
vermiculite, or sand. Place the entire container in a loosely tied
to maintain humidity. Other flowers and
herbs can be dug, potted, and kept indoors in a bright area to extend
life well into fall.
preparing houseplants for the move indoors. If possible, acclimate them
the course of a few weeks to the dryer, warmer, darker indoor
placing them in a transition area
such as a porch. Inspect plants for pests before bringing them
indoors. Now, too, is a good time to repot if needed,
using a houseplant potting soil, not regular garden soil.
pruning woody plants and roses now; it will encourage a flush of new
that may be damaged by the upcoming cold temperatures. Instead,
until late winter or early spring to prune
most trees and shrubs. Exceptions to this rule are spring-blooming
as lilacs and azaleas, which should be pruned in spring after
can prune off branches that break in the wind or from other causes.
harvesting warm season crops of beans, peppers, and tomatoes, and be
to cover the plants in case an early frost threatens. If covered, these
heat-loving plants may survive a light frost. Use floating row covers,
are designed to hold the heat in, or take your chances covering plants
sheets, cardboard boxes, or whatever else you can find. Extend the
the ground. Once done, or plants die
from frost, clean the garden.
(Charlie Nardozzi is a nationally known horticulturist,
author, gardening consultant, and garden coach