26September 01, 2016

Where did the summer go? It is so hard to believe that today is September 1St.

Let’s take a moment to talk about the things that you can or should be doing in September.

Many people make the mistake of pruning back their spring flowering shrubs in the fall. The plants may look overgrown so why not neaten them up a bit by pruning them back in the fall. The reason you don’t prune them back in the fall is that pruning these spring flowering shrubs removes the flower buds that have set up on the plant. Pruning those plants now means fewer, if any, flowers next spring. Spring flowering shrubs should be pruned back as soon as the shrub is done flowering. This gives the shrub time to put out new growth and also gives it time to set those flower buds for the following spring.

September is a good month to plant new trees and shrubs. The warm soil temperatures will allow the plants to get their root system established before the cold weather sets in. Come the thaw in the spring, the root system continues to grow before the heat of the summer sets in. If you are thinking about putting in a perennial bed or adding a tree or a few shrubs to your yard, September is a good time to do some planting.

September is also a good time to patch up any bare spots in your lawn. You should dig up those spots to loosen the soil to a depth of 4 to 6 inches. You should add compost to the soil and mix it in to the top 4 to 6 inches of soil that you have loosened up. The amount of compost that you will add will be determined by the quality of the soil in your lawn. There are some good drought tolerant grass seed mixtures that you can use to patch your lawn. Once you have the soil prepared, you can put your seed down. To make it easier to get the seed established, you should cover the seed with a product that is a combination seed starter fertilizer and mulch material. The fertilizer will help to get the roots established on your seed and the mulch material will help to hold in the water so you won’t have to water as often.

September is a good month to apply lime to your lawn and to your flowerbeds and vegetable garden. Most plants grow better if there is less acidity in the soil. Lime will neutralize the acidity in the soil and make lawns and gardens grow better in the future.

Hardy Mums will become a true perennial if you plant them in early September. The plants need time to get their root system established before the ground freezes. If you wait until October, the odds are pretty good that the mums won’t have time to get their root system established before the ground freezes.

Well that’s all for this week. The store will be open all weekend and on Labor Day. Be safe and enjoy the long weekend.

I’ll talk to you again next week.

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