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This Almanac should be used as a general guideline of common garden tasks. You should modify the list based on your specific geographic area.

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The main theme for this month, in most parts of the country, is harvest and preparing for winter.  Keep a keen eye to the weather and don't get caught by a surprise freeze.  It is also the time to plant winter gardens.

While this year's garden is fresh in mind, create or update your garden journal.  Draw a sketch of the garden listing what was planted where.  Note any pest or disease problems.  Record what varieties did well and what did not.  Your journal will help you layout your garden this winter and enable you to design in crop rotation.

In the Vegetable Garden

  • Save tomato seeds from healthy and heavily fruited plants that are demonstrating the specific characteristics that you desire or are appropriate for the specific variety.

  • Depending on your location, radishes can be planted directly in the ground or in cold frames.

  • At the approach of freezing temperature, portable cold frames can be placed over Swiss chard, New Zealand Spinach, and artichoke plants.

  • Before a hard freeze, be sure to cut back and heavily mulch artichokes and cardoons.  In some areas of the country, you may either need to dig and over winter in a basement or protected area, or treat the plants as annuals.

  • Before harvesting pumpkins and winter squash for storage, be sure to let them fully ripen.  They will last the longest if permitted to do so.  Do not let them freeze.  This is also true for gourds.

  • Herbs such as parsley will do better if potted and relocated to a cold frame, cool cellar or greenhouse.

  • In the southern United States, now is the time to plant late turnips.  Parsley and spinach can also be sown now for spring harvest.

  • In areas of the garden that you will be putting to rest for winter, now is the time to plant a cover crop like annual ryegrass.  Prepare the soil working in manure, mulches, compost, etc.  The cover crop will become established now, provide soil stability over the winter, and turned in for humus in the spring.

  • Before putting your tools away for the winter, clean, sharpen, and wipe with a light coat of oil.  Gas powered implements (mowers, tillers, chippers, etc.) should be prepared per their owners manuals.

In the Flower Garden

  • Bachelor buttons seeds can be sown now.

  • Harvest Strawflowers or everlastings now as the buds begin to open.  Hang them in loose bundles, head down, for a few weeks or until thoroughly dry.

  • Poppy seeds can be planted now for Spring bloom.

Trees & Shrubs

  • September is generally a good time of year to plant.

  • Trim deciduous hedges for the last time early this month.

  • Clean beds, gardens, and lawns of debris.  Remove leaves as they accumulate and compost.

Note:  This almanac page should be used as a general guideline of common garden tasks.  You should modify the list based on your specific geographic area.  For a very useful tool to aide in planning your garden, click here.

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Updated on August 17, 2010