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September Gardening Tips

General Gardening Tips

  • Early fall is a fantastic time to plant trees, shrubs, bulbs, perennials, grass seed and even sod. Lawn & Fertilizer Spreaders. Plants that are planted in during autumn months enjoy cooler temperatures and ideal growing conditions that allow roots ample time to grow and flourish into the surrounding soil. 

  • Plants and trees that provide color in the month of September include beautyberry, crape myrtles, cotoneaster, viburnums, hypericum, hydrangeas, pyracantha and butterfly bush. 

  • There are lots of perennials that thrive in the fall including coreopsis, scabiosa and ornamental grasses. 

  • Add a touch of autumn to your garden or landscape by planting hardy mums now. 

  • Do not prune azaleas, rhododendrons and other spring flowering shrubs because they have already set their buds for next year's blooms. If you feel these shrubs do need to be pruned, however, you can prune them now, but you will sacrifice next spring flowers. 

  • Time to transplant peonies or divide them if you wish to multiply your plants. 

  • Plant spring blooming bulbs like iris, tulips, crocus, daffodils and many others for glorious color next spring. 

  • Time to put away the beetle traps (until next year. )


  • September is the best month of the entire year to seed your lawn. This includes both seeding a new lawn and reseeding (overseeding) an established lawn to make it thicker and healthier. 

  • If you need to, you can lime, fertilize and seed your lawn all in the same day. Otherwise, seed and fertilize the same day and then lime later in the fall. 

  • If needed, autumn is a great time to aerate and/or dethatch the lawn. If you decide to do one or both of these, they should be done prior to seeding. 

  • If you like, you can topdress the lawn with Ringer, an organic compost, to improve heavy compacted, clay soil. Topdressing can be used alone or along with aeration, seeding and fertilizing. 

  • If you do plan to aerate, dethatch or rototill (for total renovation), thoroughly soak the soil a day or two before you start your project or perform your project a day or two after a good rain. 

  • September is also a good time to apply a grub control to your lawn such as Dylox (or Milky Spore as a long-term control). 

  • Now is also a good time to control weeds growing in the lawn, however you cannot weed kill and seed the same day. If you choose to kill weeds in the lawn first, you must wait three weeks to seed your lawn. Or, if you seed first, you will need to wait until the new seed has germinated and been mowed at least twice before applying a weed killer

  • If you want to prevent winter annual weeds from germinating in the lawn, you can apply Preen in September, but this would prevent you from seeding now. You will have to wait 60 days to seed, which means you would probably need to wait until spring to seed the lawn. 

  • Tips on applying weed killer:

    • Do not apply weed controls on freshly seeded areas. 

    • Do not apply weed control products on windy days. 

    • Do not apply weed controls near or on the edge of waterways. 

    • Do not apply weed controls when temperatures are above 82 degrees F. 

    • Do not allow kids, babies or pets to play on lawns freshly applied with weed controls. Wait until weed control is dry if you applied a liquid weed killer. If you applied a granular weed control, you must wait one week. 

    • Always check the label of weed control products and follow the labeling instructions precisely. 

  • Feeding the Lawn
    Fall is the best time to feed your lawn with a good quality, slow-release lawn food, with at least two feedings between the months of September, October, November and December. 

  • Seeding the Lawn
    September is the best month to seed your lawn with improved varieties of quality grass seed.  

Fruit and Vegetable Gardens

  • Time to continue with fall crops. You can still seed vegetables like beets, radishes, turnips, and leaf lettuce. 

  • Deer repellent can be used on fruits and vegetables. 

  • Spray fall crops with Thuricide to protect them from cabbageworms. 

  • Use Preen to prevent winter annual weeds

House Plants

  • Time to bring houseplants back indoors. If needed, spray them first with one of the following products:  Safer Brand Insect Killing Soap or BugShooter Insecticide. You can dust the soil with insecticide granules to prevent bringing in ants, wireworms, sow bugs, etc. 

  • Repot pot bound plants. 

  • Fertilize your houseplants with Plant Food  through November, and then stop feeding them until February.