Monthly Garden Schedule by Zone

September Garden Chores for All USDA Grow Zones

September Garden Chores for All USDA Grow Zones

Planting by USDA Zone is a good starting point to get a handle on what you should be thinking of planting and when. If you pair this overview of gardening tasks by zone with experience, local knowledge and good year on year note taking then you will be well on your way to a successful and confident gardener in no time! 

ZONE 4

  • Leaf lettuce, chard, spinach and radishes can still be planted for harvest this fall.
  • Keep up your inspecting for pests, particularly bean beetles can make a second strong showing this time of year.
  • Houseplants that have been "vacationing" in the backyard this summer should be brought in. Give them a good blast of water all over before bringing them in to help remove freeloading insects. Insects in the soil are probably not damaging but more of a nuisance when brought indoors. For the first couple of weeks after the move inspect your plants daily for any emergent insects and treat as needed.
  • Make preparations for mulching your beds for the winter. Bagged mulch is always available, but getting a truckload delivered is very economical. If you don’t think you can use a whole truckload, ask your neighbors if you can split a load.
  • Many fibrous rooted perennials should be transplanted every 3 -5 years as a general rule. Fall is the time to divide and transplant plants that flower in the spring while fall flowering ones like chrysanthemums should be done in the spring. Cut back tops to 4 -6" to reduce transplant stress. Thoroughly prepare the new planting site.
  • Pumpkins, summer squashes, and gourds to be stored should be harvested before the first frost. Pumpkins that have begun showing color will continue to ripen after harvest. Use great care not to nick the rind during harvest since this will lead to more rapid deterioration.
  • Keep harvesting second plantings of the cool season vegetables including radishes, lettuce, Chinese cabbage, chard, spinach, broccoli, and the other cole crops. Some such as parsnips, peas, Brussels sprouts, and kale actually have enhanced flavor after a frost.
  • Leaf lettuce, chard, spinach and radishes can still be planted for harvest this fall.
  • Keep up your inspecting for pests, particularly bean beetles can make a second strong showing this time of year.
  • Houseplants that have been "vacationing" in the backyard this summer should be brought in. Give them a good blast of water all over before bringing them in to help remove freeloading insects. Insects in the soil are probably not damaging but more of a nuisance when brought indoors. For the first couple of weeks after the move inspect your plants daily for any emergent insects and treat as needed.
  • Make preparations for mulching your beds for the winter. Bagged mulch is always available, but getting a truckload delivered is very economical. If you don’t think you can use a whole truckload, ask your neighbors if you can split a load.
  • Many fibrous rooted perennials should be transplanted every 3 -5 years as a general rule. Fall is the time to divide and transplant plants that flower in the spring while fall flowering ones like chrysanthemums should be done in the spring. Cut back tops to 4 -6" to reduce transplant stress. Thoroughly prepare the new planting site.
  • Pumpkins, summer squashes, and gourds to be stored should be harvested before the first frost. Pumpkins that have begun showing color will continue to ripen after harvest. Use great care not to nick the rind during harvest since this will lead to more rapid deterioration.
  • Keep harvesting second plantings of the cool season vegetables including radishes, lettuce, Chinese cabbage, chard, spinach, broccoli, and the other cole crops. Some such as parsnips, peas, Brussels sprouts, and kale actually have enhanced flavor after a frost.
  • Allow plants to finish the summer growth cycle in a normal manner. Never encourage growth with heavy applications of fertilizer or excessive pruning. Plants will delay their dormancy process that has already begun in anticipation of winter in the months ahead. New growth can be injured by an early freeze.
  • Fall is a good time for improving your garden soil. Add manure, compost and leaves to increase the organic matter content. Wood ashes contain phosphorous, potassium and calcium. They can be placed on vegetable gardens and flower beds as a top dressing that will feed into the soil all winter.
  • Be sure to keep strawberry beds weed free. Every weed you pull now will help make weeding much easier next spring.

ZONE 6

  • Leaf lettuce, chard, spinach and radishes can still be planted for harvest this fall.
  • Keep up your inspecting for pests, particularly bean beetles can make a second strong showing this time of year.
  • Houseplants that have been "vacationing" in the backyard this summer should be brought in by mid-month. Give them a good blast of water all over before bringing them in to help remove freeloading insects. Insects in the soil are probably not damaging but more of a nuisance when brought indoors. For the first few of weeks after the move inspect your plants daily for any emergent insects and treat as needed.
  • Make preparations for mulching your beds for the winter. Bagged mulch is always available, but getting a truckload delivered is very economical. If you don’t think you can use a whole truckload, ask your neighbors if you can split a load.
  • Many fibrous rooted perennials should be transplanted every 3 -5 years as a general rule. Fall is the time to divide and transplant plants that flower in the spring while fall flowering ones like chrysanthemums should be done in the spring. Cut back tops to 4 -6" to reduce transplant stress. Thoroughly prepare the new planting site.
  • Pumpkins, summer squashes, and gourds to be stored should be harvested before the first frost. Pumpkins that have begun showing color will continue to ripen after harvest. Use great care not to nick the rind during harvest since this will lead to more rapid deterioration.
  • Keep harvesting second plantings of the cool season vegetables including radishes, lettuce, Chinese cabbage, chard, spinach, broccoli, and the other cole crops. Some such as parsnips, peas, Brussels sprouts, and kale actually have enhanced flavor after a frost.
  • Allow plants to finish the summer growth cycle in a normal manner. Never encourage growth with heavy applications of fertilizer or excessive pruning. Plants will delay their dormancy process that has already begun in anticipation of winter in the months ahead. New growth can be injured by an early freeze.
  • Fall is a good time for improving your garden soil. Add manure, compost and leaves to increase the organic matter content. Wood ashes contain phosphorous, potassium and calcium. They can be placed on vegetable gardens and flower beds as a top dressing that will feed into the soil all winter.
  • Be sure to keep strawberry beds weed free. Every weed you pull now will help make weeding much easier next spring.
  • Get any cover crops you want to use in by mid-month.

ZONE 7

  • Continue planting spinach, lettuce, radishes, arugula, Asian greens, kale, and collards.
  • Keep up your inspecting for pests, particularly bean beetles can make a second strong showing this time of year.
  • Houseplants that have been "vacationing" in the backyard this summer should be brought in by mid-month. Give them a good blast of water all over before bringing them in to help remove freeloading insects. Insects in the soil are probably not damaging but more of a nuisance when brought indoors. For the first few of weeks after the move inspect your plants daily for any emergent insects and treat as needed.
  • Make preparations for mulching your beds for the winter. Bagged mulch is always available, but getting a truckload delivered is very economical. If you don’t think you can use a whole truckload, ask your neighbors if you can split a load.
  • Many fibrous rooted perennials should be transplanted every 3 -5 years as a general rule. Fall is the time to divide and transplant plants that flower in the spring while fall flowering ones like chrysanthemums should be done in the spring. Cut back tops to 4 -6" to reduce transplant stress. Thoroughly prepare the new planting site.
  • Pumpkins, summer squashes, and gourds to be stored should be harvested before the first frost. Pumpkins that have begun showing color will continue to ripen after harvest. Use great care not to nick the rind during harvest since this will lead to more rapid deterioration.
  • Keep harvesting second plantings of the cool season vegetables including radishes, lettuce, Chinese cabbage, chard, spinach, broccoli, and the other cole crops. Some such as parsnips, peas, Brussels sprouts, and kale actually have enhanced flavor after a frost.
  • Allow plants to finish the summer growth cycle in a normal manner. Never encourage growth with heavy applications of fertilizer or excessive pruning. Plants will delay their dormancy process that has already begun in anticipation of winter in the months ahead. New growth can be injured by an early freeze.
  • Fall is a good time for improving your garden soil. Add manure, compost and leaves to increase the organic matter content. Wood ashes contain phosphorous, potassium and calcium. They can be placed on vegetable gardens and flower beds as a top dressing that will feed into the soil all winter.
  • Be sure to keep strawberry beds weed free. Every weed you pull now will help make weeding much easier next spring.
  • Get any cover crops you want to use in by mid-month.
  • Some perennial flowers and bulbs will start to go dormant this month. Marking their location with a painted popsicle stick or drawing out a map of your bed is helpful come spring so you don’t forget where things are.
  • Fertilize roses for the last time this year.
  • Dig, divide, and move daylilies after they have completed their bloom.
  • Dig up sweet potatoes and peanuts while the weather is still warm; cure them before storing.
  • Late this month, start to plant next year’s garlic, shallot, and perennial onion crop.

ZONE 8

  • Continue planting spinach, lettuce, radishes, arugula, Asian greens, kale, and collards.
  • Keep up your inspecting for pests, particularly bean beetles can make a second strong showing this time of year.
  • Houseplants that have been "vacationing" in the backyard this summer should be brought in by mid-month. Give them a good blast of water all over before bringing them in to help remove freeloading insects. Insects in the soil are probably not damaging but more of a nuisance when brought indoors. For the first few of weeks after the move inspect your plants daily for any emergent insects and treat as needed.
  • Make preparations for mulching your beds for the winter. Bagged mulch is always available, but getting a truckload delivered is very economical. If you don’t think you can use a whole truckload, ask your neighbors if you can split a load.
  • Many fibrous rooted perennials should be transplanted every 3 -5 years as a general rule. Fall is the time to divide and transplant plants that flower in the spring while fall flowering ones like chrysanthemums should be done in the spring. Cut back tops to 4 -6" to reduce transplant stress. Thoroughly prepare the new planting site.
  • Pumpkins, summer squashes, and gourds to be stored should be harvested before the first frost. Pumpkins that have begun showing color will continue to ripen after harvest. Use great care not to nick the rind during harvest since this will lead to more rapid deterioration.
  • Keep harvesting second plantings of the cool season vegetables including radishes, lettuce, Chinese cabbage, chard, spinach, broccoli, and the other cole crops. Some such as parsnips, peas, Brussels sprouts, and kale actually have enhanced flavor after a frost.
  • Allow plants to finish the summer growth cycle in a normal manner. Never encourage growth with heavy applications of fertilizer or excessive pruning. Plants will delay their dormancy process that has already begun in anticipation of winter in the months ahead. New growth can be injured by an early freeze.
  • Fall is a good time for improving your garden soil. Add manure, compost and leaves to increase the organic matter content. Wood ashes contain phosphorous, potassium and calcium. They can be placed on vegetable gardens and flower beds as a top dressing that will feed into the soil all winter.
  • Be sure to keep strawberry beds weed free. Every weed you pull now will help make weeding much easier next spring.
  • Get any cover crops you want to use in by mid-month.
  • Some perennial flowers and bulbs will start to go dormant this month. Marking their location with a painted popsicle stick or drawing out a map of your bed is helpful come spring so you don’t forget where things are.
  • Fertilize roses for the last time this year.
  • Dig, divide, and move daylilies after they have completed their bloom.
  • Dig up sweet potatoes and peanuts while the weather is still warm; cure them before storing.
  • Late this month, start to plant next year’s garlic, shallot, and perennial onion crop.

ZONE 9

  • If summer beds need refreshing, try ageratum, coleus, celosia, zinnia, and wax begonia for color into fall.
  • Add color, texture, and pattern to the garden with the many varieties of elephant's ear that are available.
  • Plant herbs that tolerate the warm temperatures of early fall, such as Mexican tarragon, mint, rosemary, and basil.
  • Numerous cool-season (as well as warm-season) vegetable crops can be planted.
  • Divide and replant perennials and bulbs that have grown too large or need rejuvenation. Add organic matter to new planting areas and monitor water needs during establishment.
  • Check that irrigation systems are providing good coverage and operating properly before summer rains taper off.
  • Fertilize citrus with a balanced fertilizer either this month or in October. If the weather has been rainy, do not use soluble nitrogen as rains will leach it from the soil too quickly.
  • Some municipalities prohibit the application of fertilizer to lawns and/or landscape plants during the summer rainy season (June–September). See if such an ordinance exists in your area.
  • Prepare the fall vegetable garden if not done in August. Using transplants from your local garden center will get the garden off to a fast start, but seeds provide a wider variety from which to choose.

ZONE 10

  • If summer beds need refreshing, try scarlet sage, nasturtium, celosia, and wax begonia for color into fall.
  • Plant gladiolus corms every 2 weeks to stagger blooming. Stake each plant.
  • Plant herbs that tolerate the warm temperatures of early fall, such as Mexican tarragon, mint, rosemary, and basil.
  • Numerous cool-season (as well as warm-season) vegetable crops can be planted.
  • Consider placing native shrubs, like beautyberry, marlberry, firebush, and dahoon holly, where you can view the birds that enjoy them.
  • Numerous municipalities prohibit the application of fertilizer to lawns and/or landscape plants during the summer rainy season (June–September). See if such an ordinance exists in your area.
  • Prepare the fall vegetable garden if not done in August. Using transplants from your local garden center will get the garden off to a fast start, but seeds provide a wider variety from which to choose.
  • Divide and replant perennials and bulbs that have grown too large or need rejuvenation. Add organic matter to planting beds and monitor water needs during establishment.
  • Check that irrigation systems are providing good coverage and operating properly before summer rains taper off.
  • Fertilize citrus with a balanced fertilizer either this month or in October. Use controlled-release nitrogen because rain will not leach it from the soil too quickly.

USDA Grow Zone Map