By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather
And autumn’s best of cheer.
-Helen Hunt Jackson, “September”
September heralds the fall gardening season with cooler temperatures and a first taste of autumn in the air. Zones 1-4 will likely experience a first frost, while warmer zones look forward to relief from the late summer heat and drought. September also marks the autumn equinox, when day and night are the same length, and the waning daylight hints at the winter to come.
Now’s the time to be outside to enjoy the beautiful weather while taking care of some of the following lawn and garden tasks for September.
Annuals and Perennials
- Divide and/or transplant perennials, making sure to feed the roots with a good source of phosphorus.
- Don’t disturb asters, chrysanthemums, Russian sage, ornamental grasses, or other plants that are of interest in the fall and winter.
- September is the month to plant or transplant peonies.
- Plant annuals such as ornamental cabbage, pansies, violas, and snapdragons.
- After first frost in zones 7 and below, dig up and store tender bulbs such as caladium, canna, taro, elephant ear, dahlia, and tuberous begonia.
Dogwoods show off red berries against a backdrop of green leaves