Perennials, Annuals & Bulbs
- Divide spring- and summer-blooming perennials. Plant new perennials.
- The winter allows plants to develop strong roots to help them withstand the heat next summer.
- Keep them well-watered.
- Plant parsley, cilantro and chervil.
- Continue to spray roses every 10-14 days.
- Groom roses constantly: Don't leave dying stems on the plant; remove weak, broken or spindly shoots.
- Get ready for fall blossoms:
- Cut plants back by one-third; fertilize after pruning; keep them watered.
- With cool nights, bloom production slows; blossom colors mellow with a twinge of brown.
- Plant peonies:
- Look for older varieties that need less winter chill to develop next year's blooms.
- Fertilize annuals:
- Give them their last feeding to keep their blooms coming as long as possible.
- Dig, cure and store the tubers before they become too hard to locate.
- Order bulbs and garlic, while selection is good.
- Keep them cool till time to plant in October or November, after soil temperatures drop.
- Put out plant markers before perennials die back, so you’ll know where not to step or dig in next year's garden.
Vegetables & Fruits
- Remove all blossoms so plant nutrients flow to tomatoes that are already set.
- Tomatoes stop producing when night temperatures fall below 65 degrees (F) and days become shorter.
- Plant broccoli, cauliflower, kale, lettuce, mustard greens, onions, radishes and spinach.
- Control the whitefly population:
- Hang sticky yellow strips among your plants to trap them, especially on tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and squash.
- Control tomato hornworms and fruit worms with BT or Sevin when these critters are active this month.
- Begin planning a backyard berry patch to plant in October and November.
- Try ‘Apollo,’ ‘Atlas,’ ‘Earlibelle’ and ‘Titan’ strawberries and different Highbush and Rabbiteye blueberry varieties.
Lawn & Landscaping
- Fertilize cool-season (fescue) lawns in mid-September and again in November.
- If you did not have a soil test done, use a fertilizer with a 3-1-2 or 4-1-2 ratio with one pound actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet.
- Check for white grubs and control, if necessary.
- Over-seed thin, bare areas as grass begins responding to cooler temperatures in September and October.
- Use a blend of tall fescue cultivars at six pounds per 1,000 square feet and apply a starter fertilizer.
- Light, frequent sprinklings several times a day will keep the bed moist and ensure good seed germination.
Trees, Shrubs & Groundcovers
- Water your trees. Drought problems may be showing up on your established shade and flowering trees.
- Discontinue fertilizing trees and shrubs; any new growth could be damaged by an early frost.
- Do NOT prune shrubs or trees in late summer or early autumn (September-October). Pruning stimulates new growth that may not have time to harden off before frost.
- You can remove any deadwood from shrubs or trees.
There's more to do...
- Take a soil test!!
- Especially if you grow vegetables. Recommended amendments, like lime, can be applied before planting time next spring.
- Soil test kits are available from the NC Cooperative Extension Office, 1418 Armory Drive, Charlotte.
- Water outdoor container plants daily, as needed; make sure to provide adequate drainage.
- Start adding leaves to your compost pile.
- Beware of adding weeds from your yard!
- Bring certain plants indoors.
- Gather up houseplants that have spent the summer outdoors.
- Wash foliage and repot if necessary.
- Take cuttings from coleus, lantana, geranium, begonia and impatiens to brighten up the indoors and replant outdoors next spring.