Fall is in the air. Evenings are fragrant with the smell of Sweet Autumn Clematis and wood smoke from outdoor fire pits in the area. I can hear music floating softly on the breeze from here and there around the neighborhood — and I can almost hear some of my plants sighing and settling down for the winter. At the same time, several late blooming summer perennials are just now flowering and brightening the garden. (It is a great idea to plant a three-season garden. Flowers pop up in early spring in such gardens and late-blooming plants last until those hard frosts in early winter.)
I'll be moving to an apartment soon, so I will be experimenting with a variety of containers, vertical and otherwise, and writing about how to garden on a patio or a balcony. I've been observing how many plant lovers live in apartment complexes in the city, and I have to say it is exciting how imaginative and creative avid gardeners can be in small spaces. Also, with so many community gardens popping up around the city, those who want to raise their own fresh food can easily find a place to do that as well.
In the meantime, September is moving along swiftly for all gardeners, so here are some reminders of things to do in your garden while there is time:
•September is a good time to plant container-grown or balled-and-burlapped nursery stock. Prepare a good-sized hole and plant at the same depth it grew in the nursery. Water thoroughly.
•Mulching helps protect against frequent changes in soil temperature and moisture.
•Be sure to stake tall plants to protect them from strong winds.
•Wrap young tree trunks to protect against frost cracks or animal damage.
•Do not be concerned if your evergreens, particularly white pine and arborvitae, drop some older needles. All evergreens shed needles at some time, just not all at once the way deciduous plants do.
•To encourage the lawn to recover from summer stress, apply high-nitrogen fertilizer at the rate of 1 pound actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. Often the bag of fertilizer will tell you how to set your spreader so you are feeding at the rate mentioned here.
•This is a good time to apply broadleaf weed killers. Be sure to follow all label directions, and choose a still day to prevent spray drift.