Master Gardeners of Ellis County: September tasks

Special to the Hays Daily News
Master Gardener recommends the completion of these tasks in September: September is the time for cool-season lawn care. Devote some energy there to get your lawn back into shape. Fall-blooming perennials will start to turn on their colors also. Vegetables and Fruits • Continue to harvest vegetables

• Pick apples and pears and store in a cool place to extend freshness

• Harvest pumpkins when flesh is completely orange and avoid carrying by stem • Harvest winter squash when rind is hard enough to puncture with fingernail

• Plant lettuce, spinach, and radishes

• Remove weeds from garden plantings before going to seed

• Herbs can be dug from garden and placed in pots for indoor use this winter

• Remove small tomatoes from their vines to increase late development of more mature fruits Flowers

• Plant spring flowering bulbs, tulips, daffodils, and others

• Dig, divide, or plant peonies

• Divide perennials, especially spring bloomers

• Remove seed heads from perennials to prevent reseeding in the garden

• Plant chrysanthemums for fall color

• Dig gladiolus as foliage begins to yellow and air-dry before storing for winter

• Clean up garden areas to reduce insects and disease as plants dieback for winter

• Enrich soil by adding organic matter such as peat moss or compost Lawns

• Plant or sod new tall fescue lawns

• Renovate tall fescue lawns by verticutting

• Core aerate cool season turf

• Fertilize cool season grasses with high nitrogen sources of fertilizer

• Mow turf at 2 to 3 inches and sharpen blade for a clean cut Trees and Shrubs

• Plant trees and shrubs, deciduous and evergreen

• Rake up fallen leaves and compost

• Prune broken and dead branches from trees

• Avoid pruning spring flowering shrubs such as lilac and forsythia to ensure spring flowers

• Hand-pick bagworms to reduce problem in future Houseplants

• Bring plants in before temperatures drop into the fifties

• Clean and wash before moving indoors to reduce insects

• Fertilize before winter conditions arrive and growth slows

• Poinsettias can be forced into Christmas bloom by starting dark treatment of short days Master Gardeners of Ellis County, Cottonwood District.

More information available at or call 785-628-9430