Practical Gardening Monthly – September 2017 Issue

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Practical Gardening Monthly – September 2017 Issue

PRACTICAL GARDENING MONTHLY: SEPTEMBER 2017 ISSUE

Hello Gardening Friends,

September is here! We’re enjoying 70 degree days and high 40’s / low 50’s degree nights here in the Chicago area. So nice to turn off the a/c and open those windows for some fresh air! Our houseplants are loving it too …

This is the perfect time to refresh your outdoor container arrangements with a touch of fall. I love intermingling autumn mums, asters, ornamental cabbage & peppers, along with my already estalished colorful coleus, zonal geraniums, and sweet potato vines. Don’t forget to intersperse pumpkins and gourds for a perfect autumnal display! Showcase colorful foliage plants that look good long after the flowers fade …

September is also a great time to plant trees and shrubs. Trees that can be successfully planted in the fall include alder, ash, buckeye, catalpa, crabapple, hackberry, hawthorn, honey locust, elm, Kentucky coffee tree, linden, maple, sycamore, pines, and spruces. Most deciduous shrubs can easily be planted in fall too.

Here’s a helpful guide of Fifteen (15) September Garden “To Do’s”:

#1: Continue to check your flowers every other day to see if they need watering (especially those in smaller pots). Most need an inch of water a week …

#2: Keep your garden looking tidy by weeding the beds regularly and deadheading (cutting off) spent flowers …

#3: Aim to plant perennials about four to six weeks before your typical first frost date. This leaves them ample time to send out new roots …

#4: Pick your vegetables frequently so the plants will keep producing until they are done for the season …

#5: Take notes of where your garden could use more color now, research the plants that will do the job plus suit your growing conditions. Plan to add those this fall or early next spring …

#6: Photograph your garden and note what you planted where, what you liked and what could be improved upon next season. This will greatly help your spring chores and flower purchasing in the spring …

#7: Concentrate on spring- and summer-flowering perennials when planting in fall; these may establish better than fall bloomers at this time of year, and they’ll likely reward you with a great bloom next year …

#8: Don’t fertilize your plants for the rest of this year so they go dormant at the best time…

#9: Apply a light mulch after planting perennials in fall to conserve moisture. Once the ground freezes, come back and spread another layer of a winter mulch, which will help moderate the soil temperature over the winter, preventing frost heaves that could push your new plants out of the soil…

#10: Visit a local apple orchard. Pick a bushel or two to take home. Make some apple butter, pie, and applesauce with them. Don’t forget to savor the apple cider donuts. Yum!! …

#11: Allow certain dried flowerheads to remain standing for fall and winter interest, including astilbe, coneflower, globe thistle, and others …

#12: September also is an excellent month to reseed and repair lawns. You’ll need to water daily until the seed has sprouted and established …

#13: Prolong the growing season by throwing a sheet or other nonplastic material over your annuals and vegetables. This lets in sun and rain, but prevents light frosts from doing any damage …

#14: Consider adding to garden beds chrysanthemums, asters, or other fall-flowering plants to further extend the flowering season and color to your plots …

#15: Keep the fall-planted perennials watered up until the ground freezes, especially in dry spells. Even if frost has killed the tops of the plants, the roots continue growing until the ground freezes …

Mums the Word …

In the fall garden, chrysanthemums are the showstoppers, blooming prolifically well after other garden plants have called it quits for the season. Native to China and prized for over 2,000 years, the name “chrysanthemum” comes from the Greek words for gold (chrysos) and flower (anthos) and is often affectionately shortened to “mum.”

Caring for your mum depends on whether you want to keep it for a season or for more seasons to come. If you are planting your mum as an annual, all you need to worry about is planting in well-draining soil in a partly-sunny area of your garden. Choose a container or bed that offers plenty of space for the formed root ball. Water well, and continue to water every other day or so, or as much as needed to maintain blooms.

When growing mums, you’ll find plants that are dwarf to giant, in colors from white and yellow to the deepest burgundy and purple. Some cultivars bloom in late summer, while others bloom as late as October.

Flower of the Month:

Celosia are noted for their brilliant “rooster comb” plumes. Celosia, considered an annual in zones 5 & 6, makes a very showy, unusual display in containers, borders, and as edging. While the brilliant reds are by far the most popular color, Celosia also known as Cockscomb, also come in yellow, orange, crimson, rose, and purple flowers. (I love the latter – looks terrific with orange!)

These bold hued flowers are drought tolerant and attract birds. Celosia are wonderful for bouquets, fresh or dried. To dry these flowers, hang them upside down in a cool dark, and dry place, for about two months.

What’s New?

We hope you like our updated website design! “Flower Chick” is in a new, modern format which is also mobile friendly.

Make sure to check out our special section highlighting “101 Best Gifts For Gardeners“. It’s not too early to start planning for the holidays! You’ll find something for everyone on this extensive collection of practical (and not so practical, but fun!) gift ideas …

Check out these informative, Fall seasonal posts on Flower Chick including “Fall Vegetable Gardening in Zones 5 & 6” and “Planting Fall Bulbs”. Next month more on adding Fall color to your garden with perennials and trees that put on a colorful show year after year.

Take care and enjoy the end of summer and beginning of fall! Get outside as much as you can before the cold weather sets in …

Laura (a.k.a. Flower Chick)

P.S. Follow me on Twitter and Pinterest for more garden inspiration.

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