September is a busy time in gardens around the Northern Hemisphere, and the Southwest is no exception.
Days are Getting Shorter
Autumn is nigh and the days are getting shorter. This tells plants to GROW! Easy to do because the soil is still warm from the summer heat, but days and nights are cooler. These factors all make September ideal for planting trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, bulbs, groundcovers, wildflowers, herbs, vegetables,,,, in short, lot’s of stuff!
There are exceptions of course. Some things like citrus, palms, and succulents are better planted in Spring.
Plan on Some Planting
Plan on getting out and doing some planting this Fall. Some work now, and your yard will bloom all winter long. In the cool months. When you want to be outdoors anyway.
Right now it is still hot enough to break a sweat as you plant – but if you wait until October it does not give plants quite enough time to become well established before their genes tell them to stop growing because the days are too short.
Anytime in September
Order and plant spring flowering bulbs that can take our heat. This includes amaryllis, anemone, daffodil, freesia, gladiolus, grape hyacinth, narcissus, ranunculus, and Turkish tulips (also called species tulips).
Sow Wildflower Seeds.
You will be glad you did. Just be sure to protect them seeds and tender green sprouts from hungry wildlife (this includes birds).
Divide Crowded Plants.
Not all of them, just spring flowering perennials, like iris.
Plant seeds of the cool season annual herbs like calendula, caraway, chamomile, cilantro (coriander), dill, fennel, feverfew, parsley, and salad burnet. More on cool season herbs coming up on this site sign up for the newsletter to stay informed!
Time to plant leafy and root vegetables.
Last one for the year – Labor Day.
Lawn if you have some.
Dethatch your Bermuda lawn for October overseeding with winter rye grass.
Deadhead summer-tired salvias and autumn sages for a burst of new bloom. Light pruning on anything else, just enough to shape or control rampant growth.
Avoid pruning fall-flowering plants.
Avoid pruning ANY fruit tree this month. (If you can think of an exception I’d like to hear about it.)
Palms can be pruned now that borers and nesting birds have gone for the year. More about palms.
You got rid of them all last month. Sure you did. But then our constant desert breeze, or maybe a dust devil dropped more weed seeds. The price of freedom from weeds is eternal vigilance. More about eliminating weeds – here.
Not Enough Details?
I invite you to come on over to my Gardening With Soule Membership site. There the September gardening goes into greater detail – 5 downloadable pages worth – and has lists of suitable plants to consider.
Thanks for Reading!
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