In the Organic Garden: Week of September 4, 2017


September 4 to 10, 2017: With the arrival of September, we’re tidying up late-summer garden sprawl, watching the butterflies, and enjoying the golden cast of September’s light.


In fruit and vegetable gardens, we’re

  • harvesting and eating or preserving carrots, salad crops, edamame, beans, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, potatoes, and summer squash.
  • harvesting onions. Once the tops of your onion have flopped over, pull them out and lay them flat for a few days to dry. Then put them in a dark, cool spot to cure. They need to cure for about 3 weeks before you can cut the tops off and move them to a dry, cool, airy spot for long-term storage.
  • thinning out the fall vegetable beds. Make sure to thin out veggies to the spacing recommended on the seed packet so they can grow to their full size.
  • picking raspberries and apples.
  • keeping it clean. Keep weeding, and remove spoiled fruits and vegetables pronto! Cut back plants that are sprawling into paths or smothering their neighbors.
  • sowing buckwheat in any bare spots. We can still get a cover crop in to enrich soil. Sow buckwheat in bare spots; it will have five weeks or so to grow before our first frost. If it flowers, be sure to cut it down before it goes to seed.
Butterflies are feeding on Salvia in September | Organic Garden Week of Sept 4 | Spotts Garden Service

Butterflies are still flying (and feeding) in the September garden.


Ornamental Gardens

In other parts of the garden, we’re

  • starting fall planting. September and October are a terrific time to plant new trees, shrubs, and perennials.
  • watching butterflies. To make your garden even more welcoming, put some stones in your birdbath to give butterflies a dry spot to stand while sipping.
  • holding off on cool-season annuals like mums and asters. We’ll start buying these faves in September for fall container garden. Choose plants that are just starting to show bloom color to get the longest flowering time.
  • overseeding bare spots in the lawn. Finish up the overseeing by mid-September. Don’t forget to water frequently until the new grass is established.
  • determining where we might want to place new beds. By sheet mulching this fall, we’ll create new beds without labor-intensive double digging.
  • mowing the lawn high. Remember to set your mower at 3″ to 3.5″ above the ground to encourage grass instead of weeds.
  • weeding and turning the compost pile.

Amy graduated from DePauw University with a degree in physics, a lifelong love of theatre, and a problem-solving style that combines the approaches from both those fields. A Master Gardener and long-time communications professional, Amy conducts gardening seminars and blogs about gardening in addition to her work with Spotts.

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