Tofino Gardening in September 2005

by Trina Mattson, Tofino


Septembers here, and I was so preoccupied with weeding and fighting off the mosquitoes, I totally forgot to get August’s Gardening article in, so here’s the short and sweet of August, maintain, water, weed, fertilize, drink margaritas, get a tan using a good spf lotion, water, and weed some more. And anything you didn’t get done in August can still be done in September so… The seasons changing already, actually if anyone had the time, they might have noticed that the change started in August. The leaves on the trees were changing colour, and some even dropped them off earlier than usual. Flowers that are normally blooming in September are almost finished blooming now, and even the fish are dropping to the bottom of the pond earlier in the day.

With that in mind, and a possible early fall, but still probably with some heat to it, there are still projects to do in the garden. Keep dead heading and fertilizing your baskets and containers of bedding plants, get the maximum amount of bloomage out of your displays, as they can bloom right into November if the weathers right. Harvest your herbs, for drying, freezing or making herb infused oils. Trim back any lavender for bushier and fuller plants. Pull out any dying plants and make room for fall blossoms, such as mums, asters, black-eyed Susans, winter blooming heathers and ornamental grasses.

Check out the fall colour available in trees and shrubbery, the rosa rugosa‚s hips are huge, the Autumn Blaze maple is doing just that, as well as the Katsura, dwarf burning bush, dogwoods and smoke bush, they are all showing their true colours now. Harvesting herbs, veggies, and fruit is high on the list as well as seeding winter crops of lettuce, collards, kales, beets, radishes etc.

Fertilize your lawns for the fall and with the cooler temperatures, reseeding your lawn is okay as well. Dividing overgrown perennials can be done mid to late September. Keep the leaves raked off the lawns and out of gardens, as will help to eliminate the areas that bugs and slugs can hide. Keep roses beds free of any fallen leaves as well. Prune back any shrubs that have finished flowering, and fertilize with a high potassium fertilizer. Generally start to winterize your gardens and you won‚t get caught in the rain. Spring flowering bulbs like daffodils and tulips are in this month, and supplies are always limited, the best selection is available early. Check out any other specials for fall as most garden centres are wanting to clear out perennials etc. and fall is a great time to plant these, as well as trees and shrubs, as the temperature is cooler, and easier on the plants. Keep the pond clear of any debris that may clog up the filters, and block streams, and as the temperature starts to drop, reduce the amount of food you give to your fish. Keep an eye out for those pesky raccoons; I have heard a number of people had their ponds cleaned out this year. Start moving any of your indoor plants from outside to inside this month. Remember to check for any bugs first.

Enjoy September in the garden.

Trina Mattson runs the Ordinary Corner Nursery in Tofino

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