September Garden Checklist

Here is my garden checklist for things to do in the garden this month and other notes for this time of transition between summer and autumn:

  • Perform a soil test and apply lime as directed.

  • Keep an eye out for spider mites on conifers and other shrubs. (see photos)

  • Save seeds from favorite annuals and perennials.

  • Decide which houseplants will move indoors for fall. Trim back to keep them compact. Inspect for insects; treat as needed.

  • Order bulbs and get them in the ground before cold weather arrives.

  • Remove dead annuals and any dead portions of perennials to prevent diseases and keep the garden looking neat.

  • Later this month, plant lettuce and cabbage seed for fall vegetable garden.

  • Divide daylillies and share extras with gardening friends.

Other notes for the month:

  • Shrubs, trees and perennials planted now will have an opportunity to put new roots into warm soil. Don’t forget to water during dry periods.

  • Don’t be alarmed if the innermost needles of conifers turn brown and drop off now. This is normal.

  • Be vigilant about removing weeds. Cool season weeds like Henbit will start to emerge soon. Pull them when they are small, before they have had a chance to bloom and set seed.

  • Do not prune spring-flowering shrubs like azaleas or viburnums. This would be removing the bloom buds they have set for next year.

  • For fescue lawns in South Carolina, now is the time to reseed bare patches.

Spider mites on Holly ( Ilex)  are most obvious in the morning, before sun dries the dew clinging to the webs.

Spider mites on Holly (Ilex) are most obvious in the morning, before sun dries the dew clinging to the webs.

Spider mite webs are obvious on this  Ilex compacta , but a magnifying glass is needed to see the tiny insects.

Spider mite webs are obvious on this Ilex compacta, but a magnifying glass is needed to see the tiny insects.