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Monthly Tips

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September

Annuals and Perennials

Annuals
Replace faded summer annuals with fall blooming chrysanthemums, asters, pansies and ornamental peppers.

Ornamental kale and cabbage, celosia, pansies and creeping jenny are just a few favorites for fall containers. 

Bulbs
Pick up spring flowering bulbs now for the best selection and plant any time before Christmas.

Perennials

If you are looking for fall blooming perennials, try aster and butterfly weed for native choices or pennisetum, dendranthemum, monkshood and clematis paniculata.

Divide and transplant bearded iris, peonies, daylilies and other spring and summer flowering perennials.

September is a great time to plant shade perennials, many of which have evergreen foliage, so that they have plenty of time to establish their roots before winter. Ferns, coral bells and foam flower are a few of our favorites.

Perennials can add just as much fall color to your garden as trees and shrubs. Add colorful foliage with these perennials:

  • Yellow: Blue star
  • Red: Plumbago
  • Burgundy: Barrenwort

Garden Bed Maintenance
Apply a weed preventer to your garden beds after planting your fall flowers to prevent bittercress, chickweed and other weeds from growing.

Fruits and Vegetables

General Care
Use Deer Off Waterproof Deer Repellent Stations to keep deer away from your harvest.

Cool Season Vegetables
Plant lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, beets, radishes, and other fall crops.

Garlic and onions can be planted now for harvest next year. Each clove of garlic planted will produce one head of garlic that will be ready for harvest next summer.

Plant parsley and cilantro seeds now to begin harvesting in about 8 weeks. They grow best in part shade, with about 4-5 hours of sunlight. They can be grown in containers or garden beds.

Warm Season Vegetables
Harvest and preserve herbs for use in the winter. You can freeze leafy herbs such as basil, sage and tarragon. Oregano, rosemary and thyme are best when dried.

Lawns

Lawn Restoration
Repair bare patches and overseed your existing lawn with one of Merrifield’s custom grass seed mixtures and fertilize with Merrifield Select Lawn Food.  If you are not seeding, fertilize with Merrifield Premium Lawn Food.

For more tips on restoring your lawn for the fall season, view our fall guide to lawn restoration and weed prevention.

Use sod to repair bare patches and worn areas, if you do not want to wait for seed to grow. Sod can be planted at any time of the year.

If your lawn is suffering because of dense, heavy clay, this is a good time to aerate the ground and topdress with compost. This can be done at the same time as seeding and fertilizing.

Fertilization
Lawns should be fertilized 2-3 times each fall, beginning in September. Roots are growing and storing food for the coming year. Fertilize with Merrifield Premium Lawn Food to build those roots!

Trees and Shrubs

In Bloom
Butterfly bush, caryopteris, crape myrtles, Pee Gee hydrangeas, hypericum

Native Fruits and Berries
Pawpaw fruits will ripen soon. Look for this native tree along stream valleys and moist woodlands, or plant your own. You will need to plant two for cross pollination.

American beautyberry, winterberry and chokeberry are native shrubs that have attractive berries and colorful foliage in the fall.

Pruning
Prune roses by reducing height by 10% – 20% and removing any dead or diseased branches. Fertilize with rose food when finished.

Wait until your other plants have gone dormant to do any pruning.  If you prune now, it may stimulate new growth that may not enough time to sufficiently mature prior to an early

Wildlife

Pollinators
You can support pollinators in late summer and early fall by planting blue lobelia, goldenrod and New York ironweed. Joe Pye weed, milkweed and gaillardia are also still in bloom.

Deer
Deer activity is increasing as breeding season approaches. Be sure to apply deer repellent at this time to deter them from snacking on your plants.

Seasonal Care

Watering
The weather can still be hot in September and plants, especially those in containers, will need special care to make sure that they receive enough water. Follow our watering instructions to ensure your plants receive adequate water.