Gardening: what to do in September


September is the time to plant bulbs for spring and prepare our shrubs for winter. For other fall gardening tasks, read this!

  • New trees, shrubs, and conifers are planted.
  • It’s a good time to rethink our perennial beds and prepare new ones: we flower them by dividing our plants and taking advantage of specials at garden centers. They are also decorated for fall by adding a few seasonal flowers and plants: decorative cabbage, asters, chrysanthemums, etc.
  • Spring-flowering bulbs are planted (crocuses, tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, etc.).
  • We bring in our tropical plants that have spent the summer outside (hibiscus, oleander, bougainvillea); they are gradually acclimatized, a little longer each day, so that the change is not too sudden.
  • We pot or cut the tender annuals and perennials that we want to keep this winter (coleus, geranium, rosemary, basil,
  • To prolong the season a little, we stay on the lookout for the risk of night frost: if the mercury drops close to zero, we cover the vegetable garden with a large tarpaulin and bring in our potfuls of annuals.
  • We top the lawn with compost and mow it to 7.5 cm.

Preparing our trees and shrubs for winter

Starting in August, decreasing temperatures and sunshine trigger physiological changes in trees and shrubs. Then begins a hardening process in anticipation of winter, called hardening. From the beginning of August to mid-September, to help our trees and shrubs mature, we take the following precautions.

  • Maintain regular watering, but without excess (2.5 cm measured in a glass, about once a week), to strengthen their root system.
  • We stop causing the appearance of new shoots which would not have time to harden off before the severe cold weather by interrupting all fertilization, ideally from mid-July and by postponing any pruning operation until October or November, when trees and shrubs are dormant. 

We are leveling our lawn

After a few years, the lawn becomes deformed: a hollow here, a bump there. Here are the steps to level a small area.

1. Using an edger (half-moon blade), incise the lawn crosswise, slightly exceeding the area to be corrected.

2. Gently lift the lawn triangles and fold them outwards.

3. Add earth where necessary or remove it where there is a bump, then level well. We unfold the triangles of grass to put them back and we exert light pressure with our feet.

4. Add a little potting soil to fill any gaps and water. On a large section, we remove the grass in patches, we keep it moist while the ground is leveled, then we put it back in its place, we topsoil and we water generously.


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