Garden Tasks by Month | September in Zone 5

Dear Garden Diary,

All summers end, but work in the garden never does. It just ebbs and flows depending on the month.

September is one my favourite months in the garden where there's a happy balance of garden work and garden enjoyment. The weather is cooling off, the leaves are just beginning to turn beautiful shades of red and gold and the garden doesn't demand a whole lot from me.

It's saying, "Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall!"

xoxo Pia 


September Garden Calendar

 Here's a snapshot of what's blooming in my garden this month in September. 


Purple asters

Want to see more of my garden? Take a look at what's blooming in my September garden.



What Tasks/ Chores to do in my Garden in September? 
A Garden Maintenance Checklist for Zone 5

Dry Flowers and Leaves

Dry flowers like hydrangeas and golden rods and use them to make Fall wreaths for yourself and the neighbours. See how I made my goldenrod wreath.

☐  Maples, gingkos and oaks amongst other trees will start to turn color this month. Dry leaves to create pretty Fall decor. See how I made an easy maple leaf garland and striking autumn leaf suncatchers for my windows. 


Autumn leaf suncatchers in window with cat sitting on window box



Bring in House Plants

Summer house plants that spent the summer outside will need to be made ready to be brought back in. Stay vigilant for a premature frost.

Make cuttings of geraniums and begonias and pot them up, if  you wish to bring them into the house to sit in a sunny windowsill over winter.


Herbs- Cut bunch of marjoram, thyme, rosemary, oregano, mint, tarragon and sage before they flower. Tie them up and hang them upside down to dry. Use dry herbs through the winter to flavour your favourite dishes.

Vegetables- Harvest tomatoes and peppers, late-season squash, early pumpkins.

Fruits- Harvest raspberrries.


Lawn Care

Dethatch and Core Aeration

  • This should ideally be done once a year. Schedule a core-aeration, if you didn't do it in Spring. 
  • It should be done when the grass is still actively growing and the weather is not overly wet.
  • Do the screwdriver test, to see if the lawn needs to be aerated. If you cannot push a screwdriver easily into the lawn, the soil is overly compacted and needs to be aerated.

Divide and Plant Perennials

Spring and early summer blooming perennials can be divided and planted this month. Daylilies, peonies, catmint, irises.

If buying new perennials from the garden store, now is the time to plant them so that they have time to establish before winter sets in.


Plant Cool Weather Annuals

It's Fall decorating time! Time to switch window boxes and planters to cool weather flowering annuals. Select from a host of colorful mums/ chrysanthemums, asters, pansies, ornamental cabbage and kale.

☐ Deadhead to promote blooms.

Rose Care

☐ Fertilize roses. This is the last month to fertilize roses for the year. Fertilize at the beginning of this month, no later. See How and When to Fertilize Roses.

☐ Deadhead repeat flowering roses after they bloom. Cut back to the first set of five leaflets.


 Spruce Up

Sweep fallen leaves and collect yard waste. Set aside dry branches to use as kindling for outdoor bonfires next month, once the weather cools down.

Bird Baths- Clean bird baths daily, scrub with a brush to remove algae. Refresh with clean water daily to prevent spreading bird flu, as well as, curtail mosquito population.

Plan for next year

Make rough sketches of the garden (empty spots, places to plant bulbs or move plants to) to help plan for next year.


Sit outside every day and enjoy the garden. 

Take plenty of photos of the garden. Compare them over the years and in different seasons to see how the garden has progressed.

See: My garden in 4 seasons

☐ Cut flowers from the garden and bring them into the house to arrange and enjoy for yourself. Check out my Monday Morning Blooms of little arrangements that I make with flowers gathered from my garden.

In case you missed it, also see:

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