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Let’s Talk About September 2017

By: Pat Cordray

 

Just when you think that you can’t take another August day, along comes September.  Granted, the heat is still here but it is a teensy bit cooler.  Any improvement, in the hot weather is much appreciated. But really September is just a “stepping stone” to October when the temperatures are a little more pleasant.  In the garden, vegetable growing expands, changing out our summer color for fall color begins, planting flower seeds for spring blooming wildflowers starts as the weather cools, and it is time for the fall bulbs to start arriving in the garden center. Plus, hummingbirds, hummingbirds, hummingbirds! Keep on the lookout for hummingbirds!  Even with the hot temperatures September is a great gardening month.

Last month, we planted tomatoes and peppers.  This month we need to move on to our other fall vegetables.  Vegetables like: beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, collards,

Swiss Chard and Marigolds

cucumbers, mustard greens, squash, Swiss chard and turnips.  My, how the list has grown from last month.  If you want to garden in the best possible weather, this is it.

Fall color is on its way, with lobelia, snapdragon, marigold, dianthus, celosia, chrysanthemum, alyssum, calendula, petunia and stock showing up during the month of September. This is an excellent time to change out summer color for new fall color.
These plants will bloom over the next few months giving your garden and containers a fresh new look.  Leave room for more fall plants as they become available in the next few weeks.

Toward the end of the month and into October, or as the weather cools. We can start planting wildflowers and other spring blooming flowers from seed. Pick bluebonnet, Indian paintbrush, coreopsis, larkspur, gaillardia, purple coneflower, gaura and black eyed Susans to grow from seed.  Plant your seed in a well-draining raised bed with lots of sun.  Spread your seeds in the bed and cover with about 1/8 inch of soil.  To make sure that the seeds make good contact with the soil, press down firmly on the soil where the seeds are planted.  Water gently and keep the soil moist.   Mix these seeds with plants in your ornamental garden or grow in wildflower beds.  Either way they will be beautiful.

Bluebonnet
Larkspur
Coneflower

Fall bulbs will be in this month.  We are expecting narcissus, tulips, ranunculus, hyacinths, callas and leucojum bulbs about mid-September. This year we will have a new pink tulip called Don Quichotte, I’m looking forward to seeing the blooms.  The narcissus included on this shipment will be Ice Follies, Red Devon, Skype (new, white with an apricot trumpet), Lemon Beauty, Apricot Whirl, Erlicheer, Tahiti, and Pipit.   There will also be Delft Blue hyacinths, mixed Ranunculus, Leucojum Aestivum (Summer Snowflake) and Calla Aethiopica(White Giant Calla Lily).  This is just the beginning with Amaryllis arriving in October.  Bulbs can add so much vibrant color to your garden when most everything else is dormant.

 

Hummingbirds should be out and about in September and on into October.  Planting for hummingbirds is a great way to invite them to visit your garden. Plants like flame acanthus, fire bush, firecracker fern, salvias, trumpet creeper, bee balm, purple coneflower, Turk’s cap and cigar plant are a few nectar plants to consider.  Feeders are a great way to supplement the nectar plants you have in your garden.  Keep your feeders clean and full to ensure that the birds that rely on them won’t go hungry.  Hummingbirds also eat insects, so don’t use chemicals in your garden to keep them safe.  Make water accessible to them by providing a shallow water pan or saucer and adding pebbles. A mister, to spray water on leaves, is another way to provide water.
Enjoy your garden,
Pat