September Garden Do’s: Planning for Spring
Did you know that September is an important month for your urban garden? This is the time to plan for the future. Think ahead to the spring and summer and carefully cultivate the future garden of your dreams!
If you’ve got a large rooftop or backyard garden wait for the temperatures to cool so the soil is less than 60 degrees to the touch and plant spring flowers such as crocuses, anemones, daffodils, hyacinths and tulips. Dig three times deeper than the diameter of the bulbs.
Consider these tips from our gardening friends at MSN Real Estate:
- For an abundant tulip display, place 10 to 20 bulbs in a hole one foot in diameter; plant so that the bulbs aren’t touching.
- Irises and other early-blooming perennials still can be divided this month. Give them plenty of water after replanting.
- Dig up and divide or transplant crowded perennials.
- For swatches of fall color, plant mums, winter pansies, and flowering kale and cabbage.
- Take cuttings from geraniums, 2 to 4 inches, for indoor winter flowering.
- Plant perennials from seed by scattering them in an open bed or in individual rows. In the spring, the seedlings can be moved to more permanent locations.
- Bring household plants inside before cool weather damages them. If you’ve already cultivated a thriving indoor garden, move plants away from unprotected windows and open drafts so they don’t risk frost or cold damage.
If you’re looking ahead to organic holiday decorations, start “seasoning” poinsettias and Thanksgiving and Christmas cactuses in mid-September. They’ll need 10 hours of bright daylight or four hours of direct sun, plus 14 hours of night darkness. If you’re raising cactuses, they need a cool environment (50 to 60 degrees), while poinsettias prefer a warmer 65 to 72 degrees.
If you’re involved in corporate gardening – schools, community projects, nonprofit gardens – you’ll need to use this month to layout next year’s landscape design and overall appearance. Planning months ahead is a great way to demonstrate the importance of long-term thinking and future planning to kids and underserved communities who live day to day.
Are you planning your first urban garden? If you’re planting outside, you’ll need to watch for lead deposits in the soil. Lead is not biodegradable so it is a long-term source of contamination. Do some research into the planting site using the city lot number to check land use and ownership records at city hall. Of course, don’t try to rehab the soil if you know for a fact that it was a former toxic zone because despite your best efforts it won’t be suitable for growing food.
Let us know what you’re planting for next year!