- Pick up the pace.
- Select shrubs and trees for fall color.
- Visit local dahlia growers to choose for next spring.
- Keep all flowers picked.
- Water trees and shrubs less; allow them to harden off.
- Harvest abound. Enjoy the bounty.
- Raw or light cooked vegetables retain the most vitamins.
- Plant a winter cabbage such as Early Jersey Wakefield early in the month.
- Sow winter choys and mustards--try Tokyo Beau and Mizuma.
- When rains come, fertilize with 3-1-2 ratio fertilizer, using a slow-release formula.
- Late in the month, begin fall lawn renovation, thatching, aerating and overseeding.
- Plan and install new lawns with seed or sod.
Additional gardening tips from Washington State Universtiy Cooperative Extension publication "The Gardener."
- Pick pears when they begin to lose the grass-green skin color and become yellowish green.
- Pick apples when they have attained the proper skin color and the flesh is white or creamy, not green. Pick before they lose their astringent, starchy flavor.
- Pick up fruit that has dropped on the ground. If left, it may attract rodents, fruit flies, and yellowjackets. Decaying fruit can be incorporated into your compost pile, if not diseased. If it is, bury it deeply in the ground.
- Apple anthracnose, a disease that causes cankers on branches and eventually kills them, should be controlled before the rainy season begins. Prune out infected branches and apply a fixed copper spray to the tree (see EB0940, Apple Anthracnose).
- Reduce the spread of dogwood anthracnose now by pruning out dead twigs and raking up infected leaves as they fall (see Dogwood Anthracnose).
- Pick ornamental gourds after the stems turn brown and the vines begin to dry. If picked too early, the gourds will not last.
- If you notice black lesions on tomato fruit, leaves, or stems, apply a fixed copper spray immediately. You may be able to stop this disease (late blight fungus) which can wipe out your crop.
- Evergreen shrubs and trees can be transplanted. Fall is a good time to plant or transplant most woody plants.
- Apples that will be stored should be picked before fully ripened.
- Potatoes that will be stored should not be dug until after the vines die. If they are reluctant to die, cut them off close to the ground and wait a week before digging.
- Controlling slugs now, during their breeding season, should result in fewer next year. (See EB0968).
- After harvest, avoid storing apples or onions with potatoes or carrots. The ethylene gas given off by the apples and onions will cause potatoes to sprout, and the carrots will taste awful.
- Before the end of the month, bring in houseplants that summered outdoors.
- To get poinsettias to develop flower bracts by Christmas, give them 16 hours of total darkness each night and bright light for the other 8 hours of the day.
- Old lawns can be dethatched, aerified, and overseeded now.
- September is a good month to install new lawns, either from seed or sod.
- Trim summer-flowering heathers as they finish blooming.
George Pinyuh, WSU Extension Agent--Retired