September Gardening in Tofino
by Trina Mattson, Tofino
Okay, I'm tired of trying to figure out what the weather is going to be doing from one month to the next, just as it seems we are on a trend of hot sunny and dry, we are fogged in and dry, but the common denominator is dry. And watering is becoming a real issue. Again, mulch as much as possible, it helps to keep the moisture in and the moisture robbing weeds down, drought tolerant plants are become more common, and conserve water to where it is needed the most. Forget about the golf green lawn, reuse where possible, even the water that you boil your vegetables in for dinner can be used to water plants once it's cooled down, great for those hanging baskets and planters.
Unfortunately the trees are really starting to show the stresses of very little water, we noticed the alders dropping leaves mid July, normally about mid August, and a lot of the trees in the nursery started to turn their vibrant fall colors around mid August, although who decided that August was summer anyways, at least around here, seems July is hotter more consistently than August.
As September does come around and again the weather will probably clear up again, we are having to start to put our gardens to bed. Leaves need to be raked up from the lawns and out of the garden beds, especially from the area around the roses. The time to divide those perennials has arrived, continue harvesting any vegetables and fruit, and where necessary water, keep in mind that your rhododendrons are starting to set bud now for next years blossoms, so you will want to water those as needed.
Bring in any house plants, but remember to check for any bugs and spray as necessary. Continue fertilizing and dead heading your annuals for colour thru October. Fertilize lawns with a good winter ready fertilizer, and reseed as needed. Sow any fall and winter crops, such as lettuce, chard, and spinach.
Spring blooming bulbs are set to arrive in early September, so for the best selection, start early, and also remember those bulbs that you want to force for Arggggg Christmas. Fall blooming bedding are also coming in early September, so replace some of those tired looking plants by the front door with a splash of fresh color, mums, asters, fall pansies, sedums, and grasses.
Start to cut back any summer blooming trees and shrubs, as well as perennials as they finish for the season, and if you dig up you gladiolus, dahlias, and begonias, this can also be done as they go into dormancy about the end of the month.
Just think: 1 hour of gardening, burns approx 300 calories.
Bad joke of the month:
Why don't spiders attend public schools? Because they learn everything they need to know on the web.
Trina Mattson runs the Ordinary Corner Nursery in Tofino at 619 Tibbs Place Road.