Monday, 9 September 2013

September Ramblings & Garden To-Do's

- Shop for spring flowering bulbs!
Want a garden full of tulips in spring? A border of stunning daffodils? Alliums towering over your grape hyacinths?
Now is the time to buy and plant all those fabulous spring flowers!

Deer resistant bulbs to plants for colour in spring are ...
Narcissus of all kinds, daffodils
Muscari ( grape hyacinths)
Scilla (squill)
Chinodoxa (Glory of The Snow)
Galanthus (snowdrops)

- Plant up your spring planter now, too, with those bulbs!
Layer some daffs, tulips, and crocus in pots for early colour on your stoop come spring!

- In the yard, plant bulbs in clumps of 3 or 5, or in large drifts of blooms. Do not do single rows of bulbs, or you will have that soldiers-on-parade look in spring.


- Shop for garlic and get your bed ready for the cloves to go in towards the end of the month!

See this (and other) of my blog posts for how to prepare your bed and how to plant your garlic for the best results!


- Lift and divide perennials that have over-grown their spots or need a new home.

- Feed your lawn!

Now is the time to feed your lawn to keep it happy and healthy!
Over seed any patchy lawns, aerate, and power rake or de-thatch old lawns. 

What to plant in your beds now  ...

Veggies from seed...

From transplants ...

Flowers from seed to plant now for blooms in spring ..
Sweet Peas
Sweet Alyssum

- Prepare your beds for a cover crop to add nitrogen and prevent leaching and erosion.

- Harvest your herbs for use all winter!

Powdery Mildew and what to do about it ...

Powdery mildew is often rampant at this time of year. This is what I recommend that you do about it... nothing!
Let me clarify that ...
If you get powdery mildew early in the year, I would fight it or throw away the plant.
This time of year, most plants are either nearly finished their life cycles or are ready to lose their foliage anyways.

If you get it on your roses, lilacs, etc... perennials with smooth leaves ... , spray with a 10 percent milk solution. (9 parts water to 1 part skin milk). Spray to a drip every two or three days for two weeks. It will be gone. Or wait till they lose their foliage and clean up the fallen leaves.
If you get it on your cukes or squashes, I would not bother too much. The plants are at the end of their life cycle anyways.
Just pinch off up any really bad leaves.
You can try the milk spray to prolong them till they  have finished with their crop.
I have also read that the powdery mildew is unable to spread on wet foliage ( I know that this seems counter intuitive, but at this stage, do you really have much to lose? ) Therefore, if you spray down the leaves to a really good drench every two or three days, the mildew in unable to spread. Worth a try to keep the plant going just long enough to harvest those last cukes or those pumpkins.

- Change your tired annual baskets and planters into lovely displays for fall.
Whether you use flowers, or gourds, or scarecrows, or pumpkins, corn stalks, etc.. time to switch things up and make them fresh again.
Fall mums add a huge colour boost and add super curb appeal.

Baskets can also be vamped up for autumn! 

- Lift potatoes, if you have not already done so. They will need to set up and cure so you need to place them out somewhere in the dark to get a good skin on them.

- Remove any yucky, buggy lower leaves on cabbages, and then spray with insecticidal soap.

Mammoth Red Rock Cabbage

Happy Fall Gardening! 

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