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Long Island Horticultural Society

What's Going on in the Garden

September To Do List

Early Fall Garden Checklist

 Pull out the camera and snap some shots of what you’ve accomplished this year.


Don’t forget to take a few photos of areas that need improvement, too!

 Summer annuals often look great right up until frost, but you may want to plant cold-tolerant annuals and refresh containers — especially those in high visibility spots with autumn plants — for a few extra weeks of frost-proof color.

 Shop for tree, shrub and perennial bargains and get them in the ground before it freezes.

 Buy spring-blooming bulbs early for the best selection. Store them in a cool spot until you’re ready to plant.

 Stop feeding your perennials, trees and shrubs about six weeks before your average first frost 

 Divide perennials that bloom in late spring and summer, such as daylilies and daisies.

 Bring house plants inside before night temperatures dip into the 50s.

Winterize your lawn

Once autumn's nip hits the nighttime air, it's time to winterize your lawn. You might not see the full results of your winter lawn care until the spring, but these cold-weather steps lead to a healthier, greener, lusher lawn once the weather warms up again.

Every lawn benefits from a feeding of winter fertilizer made for grass, but this step is especially important if your lawn consists of cool-season grasses, which include fescue, bluegrass, and perennial rye grass. Because these turf varieties reach their prime in the cooler fall weather, they benefit the most from a good meal of winter fertilizer.

Winter lawn fertilizer is heavy on potassium, which strengthens the roots and helps the grass survive cold weather. A good winter lawn treatment keeps your turf strong and green through the fall, and ready to perk up again once spring arrives.

Aerating your grass lets water and nutrients reach the roots quickly and easily, and prevents the soil from becoming too hard and compacted. You can aerate a small lawn with aerating "shoes" or a manual push aerator.

Overseeding is helpful for cool-season lawns as well, because once those grass seeds germinate in the spring, they will crowd out competing weed seeds. Do your cool-season overseeding in the early to late fall.

Turn off the sprinkler system by the end of October, and flush out the hose and sprinkler system to prevent freeze damage.

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