The end of summer is a great time to putter around the garden, gradually doing end-of-summer chores and activities in the mild weather, once peak growing season has passed. Here are six September gardening projects. Harvest Seeds If you planted open-pollinated and not hybrid flowers or veggies earlier this year, September is the time that […]
The end of summer is a great time to putter around the garden, gradually doing end-of-summer chores and activities in the mild weather, once peak growing season has passed. Here are six September gardening projects.
If you planted open-pollinated and not hybrid flowers or veggies earlier this year, September is the time that these seeds may be harvested and dried for planting next year. The packet that the original seeds arrived in will tell you whether the plant is open-pollinated or a hybrid variety. Wait until the flowers or fruit have completed their natural lifecycle before collecting the seeds. An easy way to collect tiny seeds from small flowers is to place the flowers in a small paper bag, blossom down, with the stems sticking out of the bag opening. Secure the bag and shake vigorously before removing the flowers. The seeds should be safely accumulated at the bottom of the bag. Wipe all harvested seeds clean of debris and store in the open air in a cool, dry place. Check the seeds every few weeks. It can take up to a few months for seeds to dry thoroughly. When seeds are dry, place in a paper envelope or small paper packet and label for planting next year.
Build a Scarecrow
Form a skeleton frame from cornstalks and slide the stalks into an old shirt and pair of pants. Tie off the sleeves and pant bottoms with rope or twine and stuff the clothing with raked leaves or straw. Add a medium pumpkin for a head and a floppy hat and – voila you have a scarecrow that will keep the crows away from any late growing corn and add a seasonal flair to your garden as well.
After carefully inspecting and removing unwanted insects, bring in houseplants that have spent the summer on the porch or deck, while windows are still open in the house. This way the plants will get used to the temperature change gradually.
Empty and Clean Rain Barrel
Once watering is no longer a priority, you can drain your rain barrel and rinse it clean before storing it away for the winter.
Disassemble Pond and Water Garden Fountains and Features
Once the leaves begin to fall, outdoor ponds and water features quickly become clogged and full of decomposing leaves, which puts stress on water pumps. Drain your pond and unplug your pump before this happens. Rinse the pump clean after soaking it in a small container of water with a cap full of bleach in it. Allow the pump to air dry and store until next year.
Bring in Garden Ornaments
Unless your garden décor is granite or made to be a year round attraction, it is best to store any ornaments that may crack, break or get destroyed during harsh winter months. Terracotta and some cement pots and ornaments are particularly susceptible to cracks and crumbling if left outside throughout the winter.