What to See and Do in the Zone 6 September Garden


The light has become golden, and the crisp winds of autumn are lurking just around the corner. Enjoy the twilight of summer in the garden!

What To See

  • Caryopteris is in full bloom, and asters and mums are starting to open.
  • The first of the trees are beginning to change color.
  • Butterflies are enjoying the late-summer flowers and basking in the sun.
  • Winterberry fruits are starting to turn red, and the beautyberry fruits are shading to purple.
Asters are a sure sign of early fall. | Spotts Garden Service

Asters are a sure sign of early fall.

What to Do

  • Take advantage of cooler weather to plant container-grown trees, shrubs, and perennials.
  • Plant your containers and windowboxes with favorite fall annuals.
  • Harvest pears, apples, everbearing strawberries, and autumn raspberries. Keep harvesting melons, tomatoes, peppers, and other warm-season crops too. Harvest potatoes after the tops die back.
  • Finish up fall vegetable planting. Plant radish, onion sets, leaf lettuce, endive, and spinach for harvest later in the fall.
  • Bring in poinsettias and amaryllis if you’ve had them in the garden all summer. Both amaryllis and poinsettia require a darkened and cool storage period.
  • If you haven’t yet ordered bulbs for fall planting, shop for them now. Local garden centers will have a great selection of spring-blooming bulbs at this time, as will online sources.
  • Continue cutting lawn at a minimum of 3” and mow in late afternoon or early evening to conserve soil moisture. Consider using an organic lawn fertilizer in late September.






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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