Do not apply any more nitrogen to lawns; it is time for them to get ready for winter.
Days are getting shorter and cooler. Start cutting back on irrigation this month.
If your soil test report showed low potassium levels, apply a high potassium fertilizer such as 0-0-50 (2 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft.) by mid-September.
Trees, Shrubs and Flowers
September is a good time to divide and transplant spring-blooming perennials.
Plant pansies and other winter annuals from mid-September through mid-October to get established before frost.
Resist the urge to do any major pruning in the fall. Fall pruning depletes food reserves needed to initiate spring growth. Only prune out dead, dying or diseased branches.
Kept last year’s poinsettia? You can get it to flower by placing it in total uninterrupted darkness for 15 hours a day, starting the last week of September and continuing until colored bracts appear. Give them plenty of sunlight during the day.
Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs
Set out broccoli, cauliflower, cilantro, dill, kale, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, collard, lettuce, spinach, and Swiss chard transplants in early September.
Watch out for caterpillars and aphids on fall vegetable crops.
Muscadine grapes start ripening now and continue through the fall.
Fall is a good time for improving your garden soil. Add manure, compost, and leaves to increase organic matter content.
Jessica Strickland is an Agriculture Extension Agent, specializing in horticulture for North Carolina Cooperative Extension in Wayne County. Forward any questions you would like answered from this month’s column to Jessica.Strickland@waynegov.com.