September Garden Checklist

There’s something about the promise of this change of season that is both relaxing and exciting — but let’s not get ahead of ourselves, because there’s still plenty to do if you follow our September Garden Checklist below.

Plan

With summer’s end in sight, be sure to complete all your notes about your summer garden in your journal. What new plant surprised you? What would you plant more of next year? Any do-overs on your list? How was the weather, and how did it impact your garden?

Prepare and Maintain

No matter your zone, September is a prep month for almost every gardener.

  • Harvest your vegetable garden before the danger of frost or freeze, or to make room for your fall plantings. Put spent leaves and plants (veggies, perennial clippings, annual flowers) into your compost pile.
  • Gather herbs for drying or freezing, and collect valuable seeds for next year.
  • Sow cover crops to reduce weeds, loosen and improve soil structure, salvage nutrients your plants haven’t used up before they are lost over the winter, and even deter some pests and diseases. Read our blog on Planting a Cover Crop for more information.

Harvest

  • You can harvest pretty much everything from basil, beans, beets, cucumbers, and eggplant to greens, peppers, squash, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes.

Amend Soil

When planting in mid-to-late summer for a fall crop, you are likely going to plant in spaces where plants have already been harvested, and the plants are spent and ready for removal. Once removed from the garden, it is essential to amend the soil in these vacant garden spots, as they have been depleted of nutrients by the previous crops. Mix in well-decomposed compost and some fertilizer before planting for best results.

Check out our blog, Our Favorite Soil Amendments, for more information about what amendment is right for your garden project.