Monday, September 25, 2023

MY GARDEN PATH: Fall has arrived

by ELAINE CERNY/Special to The Press
| September 12, 2021 1:00 AM

All of a sudden we're in the midst of September. The calendar says the first day of autumn is Sept. 22. That's the date of the autumn equinox, which means that day and night are approximately the same length.

It's time to give the lawn that last application of fertilizer. This is the most important one as it prepares the lawn for winter and also gets it ready to start off next spring. Like us, grass appreciates cooler temperatures, so your yard should soon be at its best.

Hold off on fertilizing other things like roses. Having them put on lots of new tender growth is not a good idea at this time of the year as it won't have time to harden off before colder weather arrives.

Now is the time to save seeds from your favorite annuals. Cut them off the plant and bring indoors. Spread them out on a pie plate, or something similar. Let them dry for several days, then put them into Ziploc bags. Store them in the refrigerator until early next spring.

To save your favorite coleus, take cuttings. Pull off the bottom leaves and place the cuttings into a jar of water. They'll root quickly. Then you'll need to pot each type into a 4-inch pot of good potting soil. Keep in strong light all winter.

Some things will do well if planted now. Shrubs and perennials to name a few. Just be sure to choose a good place for them, one with the recommended amount of sunshine and good drainage.

If you haven't already done so, be sure to clip the tall growth and any blossoms off those tomato plants. It won't be long before we'll start to see some chilly nights.

Now that the sun is at a lower angle, we're getting more sun in some of our windows. This is fine unless you have houseplants growing there that can't take it. If so, move them back or find another window for them.

For those of you who grow Christmas cactus, now is the time to put them outside. Leave them there for a few weeks, until you can see those tiny little buds starting to form. Then bring them indoors and keep in a sunny window.

Keep watering those trees. As of this writing, we still haven't seen much rain. I hope you're able to find any desired spring blooming bulbs. Don't put this chore off too long as time flies!

Speaking of flying, if they haven't already departed, it's time for the hummingbirds to head south. They usually leave here about Sept. 15. Unfortunately, some of those and other birds left when we had that bout of really strong smoke. Who could blame them?

The official first day of fall is Sept. 22. I finally figured out why this summer seemed to go by so quickly … it went up in smoke!

• • •

Elaine Cerny has gardened most of her life, starting in 4-H. She has belonged to garden clubs in three states and is currently an active member of the River City Gardeners Club in Post Falls. Her column has appeared in The Press every other Sunday from early March until late October for the past 12 1/2 years.


Elaine Cerny

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