September/October Garden Calendar

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Plants in Flower

Helenium/Sneezeweed Japanese anemone                    
Rose-of Sharon/Hardy hibiscus Butterfly bush
Dahlia Bluebeard
Canna Lily Tickseed
Chrysanthemum Lavender
Crocus White turtlehead
Liriope Russian sage
Sedum Sasanqua cammelias
Asters Hardy lematis
Goldenrod Crepe myrtles
Joe Pye Weed Summer annuals


  • September: See Lawn Care
  • October: Spring-flowering bulbs at planting time with a balanced fertilizer



  • Set out landscape plants. Shop early to find the nicest shrubs.
  • When planting containerized plants in the landscape, make sure to break up the plants’ root ball, especially if it is pot bound.
  • Set out new chrysanthemum plants this month.
  • Plant pansies to add color to your yard in the autumn, winter, and spring months.
  • Groundcovers will become well established if planted now.
  • Transplant any evergreen trees or shrubs that need moving this month.
  • Plant fall vegetables like mustard, onion, radish, and turnip.


  • Plant spring-flowering bulbs like daffodil, tulip, crocus, and hyacinth.
  • Continue setting out pansies, new plants perennials, or transplanting.
  • If you don’t have a fall vegetable crop, plant cover crops like hairy vetch, winter rye, and crimson clover.
  • Start salad vegetables in a cold frame & enjoy all winter. Plant lettuce, green onions, carrots, radishes, and most leafy greens inside cold frame.


  • Consider leaving seed heads of perennials like black-eyed Susan and coneflower as food for wildlife this winter!
  • Do NOT prune shrubs in September or October.
  • Remove “weed” or unnecessary trees from your landscape.
  • Root-prune any trees or plants you plan to move next spring.
  • Cut back any herbaceous perennials with spent flowers and after frost kills the tops.


  • Spray landscape shrubs for the following insect pests: arborvitae, hemlock, and juniper (spider mites), azalea and pyracantha (lace bug), and euonymus (scale)
  • Spray for peachtree borer on your nectarine and peachtree trunks.
  • Continue with rose spray program.
  • Scout fall vegetable plants. Insects and diseases are more severe in the autumn.
  • Control woody weeds by spraying the recommended herbicide.
  • Store garden pesticides in a secured, dry location that will not freeze. 

 Lawn Care

  • Take a soil sample!! Free analysis until December 1!
  • Tall fescue and bluegrass lawns should be seeded in (September). Remember to mulch the newly seeded areas with wheat or barley straw. Keep watered.
  • Fertilize and lime your tall fescue lawns according to soil test results (September).
  • Do NOT fertilize zoysia now.
  • Homeowners can apply an insecticide for lawn grubs in early September if needed.
  • Keep tree leaves from collecting on your lawn.


  • Person holding plant rootsDivide and replant perennials, spring-flowering bulbs & peonies (September–early October) once foliage begins to die back.
  • Dig and divide rhubarb (October).

Specific Chores

  • Clean up garden sprayers and lawn equipment if not in use.
  • Prepare houseplants to reenter your home. Check them carefully for insect pests.
  • If you do not have a fall vegetable garden, it is a good time to chop, burn, or discard dead vegetable plants.
  • Start filling your compost bin as leaves begin to fall.
  • Prepare bird feeders.
  • Dig and store summer bulbs like gladioli, dahlia, and caladium before frost
  • Dig sweet potatoes before frost kills the plants.