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burgundy mum flowers in bloom

Lawn & Garden Tips

garden with blooming rudbeckia and salvia hot lips

In the Garden

September garden transition: It's a month of change in the garden as the summer heat starts to turn into cool fall nights. It's a time to start changing your garden from warm-season plants to cool season plants and add in flowers, foliage and décor that encompasses the charm of autumn.

Fall is for planting. Now's the very best time to plant just about everything. Warm soil, cooler air and (hopefully) rain make for well-established plants that really burst forth next spring.

Season color change out. After our hot, hot summer, it's time to refresh with seasonal annual color. Cool-season flowers to plant now are Mums, Snapdragon, Pansies, Violas, Stock, Poppies, Primrose, Sweet pea, Cyclamen and more!

Plant bulbs. They're delayed satisfaction, but flowering bulbs are such nice spring surprises. You'll be glad you did. Bulbs are easy: dig, drop, done! There are lots of choices, but Bearded Irises take our heat, take no care, are water-wise, and have spectacular flowers. What more can you ask?

Perennials for fall color. These beauties grace our garden each year and are a great way to transition your garden into a fall look, attract pollinators and have an endless source of cut flowers. Our favorite perennials for fall include echinacea, rudbeckia, aster, lantana, yarrow and salvia.

Divide and transplant all types of perennials.

Ornamental grasses add movement and interesting texture to gardens. The choices are amazing-from delicate, fine-textured gems to bold, colorful statements. They're low care, dramatic and have a great fall look.

Roses: Snip off old, spent roses to redirect the roses energy into producing more blooms. Continue your rose program and treat roses with Bonide Rose Rx 3-in-1 to keep your roses fertilized while preventing bug and disease issues. This is especially important around the coast where morning haze can foster fungus.

Vegetable Gardening

Tomatoes & Peppers: Now that summer is over, it's time to take out tomatoes and peppers to make room for cool-season vegetables. If you haven't had enough tomatoes, there are fall tomatoes that can be planted in early September for a late fall harvest.

Pumpkins & Squash: It's almost time to harvest your pumpkins and squash for fall feasts and decorating. Give your pumpkins and squash a final does of fertilizer using organic Dr. Earth Tomato and Vegetable Food. Apply as directed and then water thoroughly. Pick when they are fully colored and firm. To test, if your fingernail easily pierces or creates an indentation in the skin, the pumpkin isn't ready to harvest.

Strawberries: In California, strawberries can be grown nearly year-round. Now is the time to plant strawberries for a fall/early window harvest. Strawberries are easy to grow and can be planted in pots, the garden or even hanging baskets.

Lettuce, Kale, Spinach & Leafy Greens: It's the start of leafy green seasons! As temps start to cool, plant all your favorite greens including lettuce, spinach, kale and chard. Leafy grows grow quickly and can be planted from a starter plant or even seed. Plant in the garden or a pot and place in full sun.

Broccoli, Cauliflower & Cabbage: Mid to late September is the time to plant broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage in the garden so they are ready for cool season soups and side dishes. Plant in full sun in the garden from starter plants or seed.

Root Vegetables: Hearty and full of nutrients, now is the time to plant all the root vegetables including carrots, beets, radishes, turnips and kohlrabi. To get the biggest, best crop plant in the garden in full sun.

fresh lettuce in a wood planter
Houseplants on white desk by window

In the House

Reduce watering for houseplants. Warm homes and moving air (that's your AC) mean houseplants dry out faster. Come mid-September, you may need to water less. Signs that houseplants are receiving to much water include yellowing leaves, squishy leaves or brown edges or spots on the leaves. Also, if you start seeing pests in the soil that's a sign it's receiving too much water.

Fall flare. Decorate your home for call with houseplants in tones of red, orange and gold. Some of our favorite houseplants for fall include crotons, aglaonema, calathea and rex begonias.

Feeding time. Most houseplants are still actively growing so continue your feeding schedule. If you're not on a regular fertilizer schedule no problem. Stop by your local Armstrong and we can get you started.

Trim them up. Give your houseplants a clean up and trim off any spent or damaged foliage or branches. Also, remove any foliage or blooms that have fallen to the plant to keep them clean and tidy.

Houseplants sometimes need to be tossed. Remember, tropical plants weren't created to be indoors-we just use them that way. After time, they can become thin, pale, and straggly. Replace them-it's ok. You'll be glad you did.

Lawn Care

Cut it. Keep your lawn cut and clean.

Water time. It can still be quite hot as we transition into fall and your lawn is thirsty. Remember to water wisely being sure to water between 5-9am and water until just before you see runoff. This time of year watering twice a week is enough.

moving lawn
hummingbird eating salvia nectar

Bird Time

Water time. This time of year, birds may have more trouble finding water to drink and bathe in. Be sure to keep your birdbaths full and clean out the water weekly.

Let them feast. While the garden has good food sources this time of year with all the blooms and plants starting to go to seed it's still a good idea to keep feeders full.