Gardening in Tofino: September
by Trina Mattson, Tofino
So did anyone happen to see summer this year? For a brief time perhaps maybe 2 weeks total, on the other hand we didn't have water issues. Ah well. Just chatting with other gardeners and most were in agreement, although deciduous trees seemed to turn color early this year, very few flowers had the chance to do their stuff, especially the annuals, not enough sun, or at least cooler than average temperatures, let's see what September will bring, besides the usual amount of gardening. And here it comes.
With September comes cooler weather (usually) so it is time to bring in your indoor plants, check for any bugs etc that may want to hitch a ride inside, and get rid of them before you make the move. Perennials at this time can be divided and replanted into new spaces. Keep watering and fertilizing those baskets and planters, as they have the potential to bloom right through to the end of October. And it's harvest time for many a fruit and vegetable, Yummy. This is the month to be putting Organic weed killer on the lawn, not necessarily a new product, but one being more widely used, the basic idea behind it is that it is made from maize, yes corn, and is high in nitrogen, a twice yearly application, once in spring and again in fall, will help to rid your lawn of weeds. It does not kill existing weeds, it is a pre-emergent weed killer, so as the dandelion seeds etc are germinating, the maize is high enough in nitrogen to burn off the new tender roots, thus eliminating the new growth, and killing the seed. As for the pre-existing weeds, there are tools that will get rid of them easily enough. For anyone that has put away their amaryllis for dormancy, it's time to bring them out, and repot them for Christmas; yes I said the C word.
YA, spring flowering bulbs will be showing up within the first week of the month. Time to get out those pictures you hopefully took earlier this year, to see where the garden needs a splash of color for next spring and upgrade. Maybe replace those Tulips by the front door, or just switch a planter up a notch, by adding bulbs to them. Also for fall color, pansies, asters, mums, kale, and sunflowers to brighten up spots where either the annuals or perennials have finished blooming. With the exception of the kale, and sunflowers the other plants are perennial given the right set of circumstances, so you can get several years of enjoyment out of them.
There are also many plants still in bloom through September and October, such as sedum brilliantism, daisies, crocosmia, and heather, to name a few. And with many deciduous trees and shrubs putting on their fall color as well, so there is no end to some really pretty color combinations to brighten up your fall garden.
As the temperature cools down, ponds will be starting to go dormant for the season, so slow down on the frequency of feeding your fish, and clean up any fallen and dead debris that can accumulate in the pond. If you have tropical plants in your pond such as cannas, get a spot ready where they may over winter safely.
Fall is generally a good to plant most anything, from trees and shrubs to flowers, and seeding lawns as well, as the cooler weather puts less stress on the plants, and water is generally more available.
Trina Mattson runs the Ordinary Corner Nursery in Tofino.
Tofino gardening in September 2007. Written by Trina Mattson from the Ordinary Corner Nursery in Tofino.