Garden Chores for September

Add something new. If you don’t have any plants that are fall stars, consider buying one or two. Grasses, asters, and shrubs with bright berries are all good additions for the fall garden and fall is a great time to plant.

Remake a pot. Don’t like the way your containers look? Rip out the spent plants and replace them with mums, asters, sedum, or another fall-bloomer—or remake a pot using vegetables from your garden, such as squash or pumpkins, as accents. Look for bargains at the nursery and add that to your pot for a few weeks, then move it out to the garden. Sometimes even re-arranging your containers can give the front porch or deck a new look.

Deadhead, please.  An all-green plant looks better than one covered with wilting or dead blooms. Ten minutes with a clipper will give your flowerbed a fresher look.


Pick your herbs. No one wants to think about the “F” word – frost, but it’s always a possibility after mid-September, so get out in your garden and harvest a few lush smelling bunches of basil, parsley, or sage. Harvesting herbs is aromatherapy for gardeners in a slump.


Plant bulbs. This is another fall chore that makes spring so much more pleasant. Think about where you wanted some color last April or May and put a few clumps of bulbs there. Here’s some advice on bulb planting.


Take care of your lawn. Fall is a good time to make sure your lawn goes into winter healthy. You can safely overseed until about mid-September. Aerating is another good early fall project, as is getting after broadleaf weeds. The University of Minnesota offers a complete list of fall lawn chores to consider.