Fantastic Lakes Gardener's September Checklist

It is finally September, and also the ideal weather of the season is available for Great Lakes gardeners. With the humidity dropping and the temperature moderating, we have got the ideal environment for outdoor pursuits. Summer garden visitors have started to drift southward in their autumn migration, and many of us are finally feeling like handling those lawn chores we put off during the heat of summer. September is also a excellent time for wildlife viewing — monarch butterflies and hummingbirds may be making pit stops in your backyard. And the landscape is reviving with repeat blooms and the vanguard of fall bloomers. Let’s dig.

Barbara Pintozzi

Feed the birds. Tricyrtis and also our indigenous honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) attract migrating hummingbirds.

After taking the time to enjoy backyard visitors, it is on to getting stuff done in the backyard.

Barbara Pintozzi

Collect leaves. The leaves may begin falling earlier this season because of the drought. Do not offer those leaves off — up them, put them in a pile and make leaf mold. It is a great soil conditioner and the best dressing for woodland plants.

Revive yards. If your yard sports dead spots courtesy of this drought, September is the best time to rejuvenate it by sowing grass seed. From November the yard ought to be lush and green again.

Plant perennials. September is also the ideal time to plant perennials and woody plants. It used to be that spring was the ideal time to plant in Great Lakes gardens, but anglers are finding that using unreliable moisture and often unbearable summer heat, fresh plants do better under the less harsh conditions of fall. By planting in September, the gardener has been guaranteed that the new plants will have enough time to become established before winter.

Barbara Pintozzi

Replace container gardens. It is time to refresh tired, exhausted containers. Here, Petunia ‘Phantom’ blossoms that have a little sedum, ‘Razzleberry’ and a little zinnia. Pansies and pumpkins are also great replacements for exhausted summer annuals.

View 8 knockout blossoms for a fall container garden

Barbara Pintozzi

While cosmetic cabbage is a fall standard, edible cabbage is equally attractive.

Barbara Pintozzi

Enjoy September blossoms. Here come the autumn-blooming plants. With the warmer temperatures, many perennials that played through the heat of summer will enjoy a fresh crop of blossoms in September. Dianthus ‘Cranberry Ice’ faithfully reblooms with its neighbor here, a lavender (Lavandula angustifolia).

Barbara Pintozzi

Roses, such as ‘Carefree Beauty’, and dahlias bring forth ideal blooms after the demise of Japanese beetles for the year.

Barbara Pintozzi

Caryopteris incana ‘Jason’ (Sunshine Blue) is a parasitic magnet in September. Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Janice’ (Little Miss Sunshine) is similar yet more compact. While Caryopteris is categorized as a die-back tree in zone 5, lots of fantastic Lakes gardeners discover it survives the winter just fine with adequate snow cover. Even if it expires after a winter, from the subsequent September it’ll return and filled with blossoms.

Barbara Pintozzi

When the garden most needs a snapshot of freshness and colour, the asters (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae ‘Honeysong Pink’ and S. laeve ‘Bluebird’) are unfurling their own daisy-like blossoms in vibrant colours. By placing New England asters behind plants that are shorter, you can conceal their nasty legs.

Barbara Pintozzi

Asters aren’t the only indigenous prairie plants to shine in September. All the prairie grasses — including as Indian bud (Sorgastrum nutans), found growing here with Maximilian sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani) — turn vibrant colours.

Barbara Pintozzi

In a September shade garden, Japanese anemones (here Anemone ‘Andrea Atkinson’) are queen, reaching 5 feet at a year with great moisture.

Barbara Pintozzi

Few things beat the strong, sweet scent of this fall-blooming Cimicifugas (Actea simplex ‘Black Negligee’). A fantastic stand of them perfumes the whole backyard.

Get out in the backyard while the weather’s great. Most of us know it is not likely to last.

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