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Gardening Tips for September/October
"Where Unique Outdoor 
   Living Begins"


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Earth is here so kind, that just tickle her with a hoe and she laughs with a harvest. Douglas William Jerrold
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Yee Haw! Cooler weather is just around the corner…maybe? September and October are perfect times to clean up your yard and gardens, plant trees and shrubs and plan for the spring. Here are a few reminders.

Prune shrubs now to allow new growth before winter.
Remove those dead branches!
Prune hybrid roses and you will get a great fall show.
Cut back perennials. Divide and transplant daisies, irises, etc. Be sure to water after transplanting.

Fall Planting
Use fall plants to add color to your beds and containers. We like mums, pansies, violas, autumn ferns, ajuga, sweet flag grass, sedum, coral bells, crotons, rosemary, curry, cabbage, kale and chard.  
Plant trees and shrubs in September when the weather is cooler. Roots establish easier in the fall and have a nice head start on those planted in the spring. It is always wise to mix good compost throughout your planting area before planting. Dig your hole 3 times wider than the root ball of your plant and only deep enough to allow the root ball to be slightly above ground level. Fill soil in firmly around the roots, water the plant well to remove any air pockets and add some mulch or pine straw to protect the plant during a cold snap. There is no need to apply fertilizer at this time, but do indeed keep the soil moist. Depending on temperature and rain, a good rule of thumb is to water newly planted trees and shrubs every day for a week and then every other day for another week. Most shrubs and trees like well-drained soil. You can check your soil for drainage by digging a hole about a foot deep and filling it with water. If the water does not drain in 30 minutes, consider using a plant that likes wet feet.  

Spring Bulb Planting
Plant spring bulbs, tulips, irises, hyacinths, daffodils, etc., in the fall after the soil temperature falls below 60°F or plant some in pots for indoor color during the winter months.  
Make sure you have good soil drainage in your bed. Mix bonemeal or superphosphate with the soil, especially in the soil below the bulbs. Use 2 cups of bonemeal per ten square feet. A good bulb fertilizer should be added at this time as well and also in the spring. Do not add fertilizer in the spring after your bulbs start to flower. This often leads to bulb rot and a shorter life span for the flowers.
Generally, plant spring bulbs two to three times as deep as the bulb height.
Water bulbs after planting to settle the soil and to help the bulb start rooting. Be careful…over-watering at planting time can cause bulb rot.  

Fall Mums are arriving each week!  If you want your mums to bloom for Thanksgiving, then buy them with buds only. Keep them from the direct sunlight and place in a shallow saucer of water. Two weeks before Thanksgiving, place them in the sun and you will have lovely blooms for the holiday!

Happy Gardening!  What is planted in the heart takes root in the soul.
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