September Gardening in the Tri-State Area

If you started a garden this past summer, you might think the season’s over in September, and there’s nothing left to do. But there’s plenty to keep you busy in preparation for next spring, and you’ll even have some vegetables to harvest before the first frost.

What’s Growing:

You might think your garden is winding down this time of year, but you can still get a great harvest. You can even plant during this season and have enough time to see results before the cold sets in.

This time of year is great for lettuces, spinach, cabbage, turnips, beans, and radishes, so you’ll have plenty of food to cook with in the kitchen.

Continue taking advantage of those fresh herbs growing in your garden and adding flavor to your meals on the grill. September is a great month to eat outside since the heat is more bearable, and you won’t be too cold yet.

Prepare for a Cold Winter in NJ, NY, PA, and CT

With fall around the corner and winter coming, prepare your garden for winter with a few chores around the yard.

Stop fertilizing

You don’t want new growth to be destroyed by the incoming cold, so it’s time to stop fertilizing your flowers and shrubs. Continue to water them to encourage roots that will help mature plants survive the winter in NJ.

Clear out the garden and start repairs

September in NJ makes a great time to clear out the garden of any dead plants and start repairing fences and walls. You can even collect seeds from some of your summer flowers to save for next year’s garden. 

If you take the time to fix up your garden beds now, you’ll be ready to go when it’s time to plant your seedlings in the spring.

Prepare the soil

As you work around the yard and leaves are starting to fall, you can use those materials to build richer soil for the upcoming spring. Layer last year’s soil with compost and dried leaves, then leave them to decay over the winter. When the snow melts, your soil will be full of nutrients for your new plants.

Plant spring bulbs

Every experienced gardener knows that now is the time to plant bulbs for those first blooms in the spring. Daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips should go in the ground now if you expect to see them poking through the snow.

Plan for great grass

Sometimes NJ homeowners forget to take care of grass in the fall before it’s covered in snow and then lament their lawn in the summertime. Now is the time to spread weedkillers so this year’s weeds don’t come back stronger next year. You should also aerate and over-seed the lawn again to keep ahead of any dead spots and get the lush green backyard you’ve been dreaming of.

Bring the Outdoors In

While we’re getting ready to stay inside for the winter, bring the remains of your summer inside.

Harvest fall vegetables

Start using all that kale, lettuce, and spinach in your salads (or leave them outside to keep some color), and harvest the beans, broccoli, and carrots for some hearty stews you can freeze and enjoy all winter. 

Dry the last of summer herbs

Cut your summer herbs, then hang them upside down to dry them. You’ll be able to incorporate those into all the dishes you use throughout the winter, too. So your garden just keeps giving.

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September, 2021

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