University of Illinois Extension
Bruce Spangeberg

These articles are written to apply to the northeastern corner of Illinois. Problems and timing may not apply outside of this area.

Stateline Yard & Garden

Yard and Garden Calendar for September

August 28, 1997

Next Monday, in addition to being Labor Day and the Packer-Bear game, also means the arrival of September. September is an important month in the yard and garden, with activities focusing on fall planting and harvesting.

September is definitely a key month for lawn care. Practices such as seeding, sodding, aerifying, dethatching, and fertilizing can all be done in September. While not all these activities can be done at once, chances are whatever your lawn needs can be done in September. Access Lawn Talk on this web site for more information.

September is also a good month for planting. Plant spring flowering bulbs for lots of color next spring. Proper drainage is perhaps the main secret to success with spring bulbs such as tulips, crocus, daffodils, and hyacinths. Adding organic matter is the best way to improve heavy clay soils. Choose healthy bulbs and plant at the suggested depth for the species.

In addition, many trees, shrubs, and evergreens can be planted in early fall. Check with local nurseries and garden centers to see what's available for fall planting. Be sure to have a planting plan, however, rather than just putting in some trees that "look nice" or are on sale but soon grow into a disastrous landscape design. Once planted, be sure to water as needed, especially if the weather is dry, to help assure good root development this fall.

Some perennials, such as peonies, can also be divided now. Peonies don't need dividing frequently, but declining plants may signal it is time or perhaps it is desired to expand the planting. Carefully dig them up and split the root clumps. Each division should contain 3 to 5 strong buds, or eyes, to assure it will produce a viable flowering plant. When replanting, these buds should not be deeper than 1 1/2 inches.

Finally, long-season vegetable crops and apples should be ready for harvest in September. Pick vegetables and fruit crops at the optimum time for best quality and storage. Make notes of what varieties did well and those that perhaps did poorly. These notes will be valuable next winter as you prepare for the 1998 season.


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