Depending on the year, September can feel like late summer or early winter! We ALWAYS go organic apple picking in September. Here are a few of my garden "to do's" in September:
1. Reduce watering schedule
2. Order Spring bulbs and Paper Whites
3. Cut down and store in fridge Amaryllis for winter forcing
4. Final fertilization for roses and potted plants
5. Split and plant irises
6. Final weeding pass
7. Prep space for leaf mulch
October is my FAVORITE month (hello Halloween!). It is also the last really busy gardening month depending on when the first snow hits.
1. Harvest pumpkins
2. Harvest potatoes after first frost
3. Pot up Amaryllis and Paper Whites for indoor forcing.
4. Plant out spring bulbs (I usually plant around 300-500 every fall so this is a big job)
5. add fallen leaves to leaf mulch pile
6. After first frost, dig up and store dahlias
7. Mulch over flower beds
8. Turn off and blow out sprinkler system .
9. Dear out greenhouse beds and cover until Spring
10. Clean and store all garden tools
November is a blessedly easy month after so many long months of gardening. We turn the greenhouse into a cozy hang out space and get ready to hibernate most of our growing to-dos for a few brief months.
1. Sweep out greenhouse
2. Set up greenhouse benches and heater
3. Have a first snow cocktail party in the greenhouse
4. Empty and store garden pots
5. Add pumpkin vines and other garden detritus to compost pile
6. Trim rose stocks - it is important to do this after the bees have hibernated to avoid any burrowing bees from killing the roses by making holes in fresh cut areas.
What I do NOT do is clear or cut down any more plants than necessary. Over wintered seed heads and piles of leaves or dead vegetation provide important food sources for birds and shelter for insects and animals. I wait until mid-spring to do this work.