You are here

The Blog: Let's Talk Gardening

A Labor of Love...


The arrival of autumn doesn't mean that the gardening season is over. It's actually just the beginning of a variety of tasks that need to be done outdoors before winter sets it. And despite summer drawing to a close, September is a busy month for gardeners. Here are a few tips on things you should do in September to keep your fall garden in tip-top shape.

  1. Seed Your Lawn. Surprisingly enough, September is the best time to seed your lawn, and laying a good foundation is the first step to ensuring a lush lawn. Remember to fertilize the soil just before or after seeding as it will make it stronger and greener once the grass grows.
  2. Plant Trees & Shrubs. Did you know fall is the best time for planting? Cooler temperatures help reduce root stress resulting in strong and healthier plants.
  3. Plant Spring-Flowering Bulbs. Spring color starts in fall. Yep, fall is when you plant spring-blooming bulbs like daffodils, tulips, hyacinth and more. With just a little planning, you can time your bulb blooms for continuous color from early spring to summer. Select from crocuses, tulips, daffodils and hyacinth for constant color in your garden March through June. A general rule of thumb is to plant the bulbs to the depth of three times their height.
  4. Keep Growing Veggies. Summer may be winding down, but it doesn't mean you can't still have fresh veggies. In fact, fall is the best time to grow veggies. We recommend growing lettuce, Swiss chard, arugula, cabbage and spinach for scrumptious veggies all season long!
  5. Learn How to Build a Fire Pit. Visit our Virginia Beach location for a complimentary “How to Make a Fire Pit’ demonstration and learn first-hand how you can construct and install your very own stone fire pit. Get details here. >>
  6. Divide Perennials. Transplant and divide perennials in early fall to encourage heartiness, limit spreading and propagate more plants. Once divided, plant them as soon as possible. Transplants do best if they have a few weeks to develop roots before the ground freezes.
  7. Keep Watering. Remember the basics when watering ~ water early in the morning; water soil not leaves; and water deeply and occasionally rather than shallow and often. Be mindful of newly planted or recently transplanted trees and shrubs that need special attention and must be well watered to help them become established and survive the winter.
  8. Make a Scarecrow. Looking for a fun family outing this fall? Stop by and build your very own life-size scarecrow at any McDonald Garden Center on September 28 & 29, from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. All proceeds from the $25 registration fee benefit the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters (CHKD). Get details here. >>
  9. Mulch. This is one of the easiest and most beneficial practices you can do in the garden. Mulching helps to control weeds, prevent soil erosion, provide insulation in winter and conserve moisture. Mulching also adds texture, color and contrast to your landscape.
  10. Control Weeds. Before cold weather sets in, weed your lawn. It’s better to get rid of the weeds now rather than later when it’s cold and wet. If you decided to use weed killer, wait three weeks before you seed your lawn. If you seed first, then wait for the new seed to germinate, otherwise you could damage the tender leaves.