THINGS TO DO IN SEPTEMBER
Dig and divide. Perennials that flowered in early to mid summer can be dug up and divided. Replant the divisions around your yard in the appropriate places or give them away if you have run out of space. Be sure that the soil is moist when you dig up the mature perennial.
Plant spring flowering bulbs. The boat has arrived from The Netherlands and we recommend that you check out the selection at your favourite retailer for the best selection of the season. Fact is, they don't replenish the 'hard to find' varieties of tulips, daffodils, narcissus, hyacinths and the like later in the fall season. Even if you just store your new purchases in your garage for a few weeks, at least you have the varieties and colours that you really want.
Speaking of spring flowering bulbs, check out the Mark's Choice bulb collections at Home Hardware. All great value for the money.
Compost: a. empty b. fill. Not to oversimplify this, but your garden needs the natural goodness that is contained in your backyard composting unit and your now-empty composting unit will provide a valuable service this autumn when the leaves fall and you yank your spent annuals and veggie plants out of the ground.
Don't forget to plant garlic! As far as beating-what-you-can-get-from-the-grocery-store, garlic is very much worth growing yourself. Remember that you reap what you sow, so head to the farmer's market and find the biggest, healthiest garlic on offer if you haven't already got "seed stock" to start with. You can always check out our "How-To" video for a reminder of how to grow garlic. Remember to add plenty of compost, it's a heavy-feeding crop.
Another cause for celebration: finished compost! Now is the time to clean out your composter and spread it over the vegetable garden. Just apply it generously over the surface, but save yourself the work of "digging it in" - the earthworms are happy to do that work for you, and they'll do so without disturbing the soil structure.
Cover cropping is another good thing to be thinking about this time of year. As your harvest leaves bare soil, overseed with Annual Rye for quick germination or Red Clover to sock some nitrogen back into the soil. Your garden will thank you by returning even better harvests next year.
MARK'S CHOICE PRODUCT OF THE MONTH
Aerate your lawn if it is compacted. Heavy foot traffic will squeeze the air out of the soil and prevent the roots of grass plants from breathing.
We recommend a small core aerator for this job.
The Mark's Choice Core Aerator is exactly what you need to reduce soil compaction where foot traffic is a problem on the lawn.
The wide step on base allows for more downward force. Each step removes 2 cores of soil from the lawn. This opens up the soil and allows moisture and air to flow to the roots of grass plants.
Two handle design allows for secure grip.
Powder coated finish.
Home Hardware Item# 5010-144
Mark Cullen is an expert gardener, author & broadcaster and holds the Order of Canada. His son Ben is a fourth-generation urban gardener and graduate of Guelph and Dalhousie University. You can sign up for their free monthly newsletter and find his weekly podcast & blog at www.markcullen.com.
An Organic Approach (5010-205), is available at Home Hardware.