SEPTEMBER GARDENING CALENDAR
Harvest beans and other crops; remove blossoms from eggplant and peppers to ripen remaining fruits. Cover sunflowers from birds, pinch tomato tips. Lay down grass turf. Watch for slugs and snails, cultivate to destroy grasshopper eggs. Also, watch for corn earworms.
Cultivate or hoe around cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, turnips and celery. Keep late maturing cauliflower and broccoli well-watered. Transplant out starts of endive the first week of September. Plant garlic and shallots and over-wintering onion sets. Direct seed outside: arugula, lettuce, radishes, cress, corn salad, chervil and kale.
If you plan to grow crops under tunnels or in a cold greenhouse over the winter, plant seed (early in the month) of crops for winter use: chervil, kale, spinach, lettuce, radishes, corn salad, and winter cress. Later in the month, from the 20th to the first week of October, plant seeds of cabbage, cauliflower and other brassicas for transplanting out into tunnels in October. Have winter cover ready by October 1.
Make beds for growing mushrooms. Well-rotted horse manure is excellent for mushroom beds.
Gather ripe seeds of any vegetables (or flowers) you want to save seed from.
Watch outdoor temperatures and bring in house plants if frost threatens.
Prepare beds for planting bulbs. Sow seeds of bulbous flowers collected in summer. Take cuttings of violets and pansies; plant cuttings out in early spring. Transplant peonies and lilies. Dig dahlias after killing frost. Transplant pinks and carnations with root ball intact late in the month. Late in the month, plant out perennials and biennials where they are to bloom. Also, most perennials can be divided now and replanted where they are to bloom.
Gather ripe fruit from apples and pears. Remove diseased fruits and “mummies”, rake up leaves under fruit trees and destroy them (to prevent apple scab). Prepare equipment to make cider. Finish budding apples. Prepare beds for planting fruit trees, using well-rotted manure, digging down 18 inches. Take cuttings or make layers of gooseberries, currants, honeysuckle, and other trees and shrubs. Plant seeds of fruit trees: cherry, plum, apricot, apple, pear, etc.
Keep strawberries free of weeds and the soil moist. If you plan to force strawberries in winter, now is the time to take them up and pot them. Cut a root ball out with a knife, trim off dead leaves and runners and pot into 7 or 8 inch pots. Place them in shade and water well. Then plunge the pots in earth up to the rim. Take them up and into frames or greenhouse before cold weather.
Protect ripening grapes from birds with netting or gauze; keep weeds away from plants. If wasps are a problem, hang containers of sugar water to catch them. Prepare to make wine if desired.
TREES, SHRUBS AND ROSES
Trim branches of evergreens and walnut trees, so wounds will heal before winter. Keep weeds cleaned out from nursery beds and plantings of young trees.