September Organic Gardening Tasks

This calendar was originally published for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Please note that the world of organics is ever-changing with new products on the market. I suggest you find your local organic nursery and get to know the personnel, ask questions and know what Gardening Zone you are in to purchase your best plant selections.

More Fall Colours

Fall Colours (Photo credit: lokidude99)

  • Time for this growing season’s final spray application to fruit and nut trees. Use 1 to 2 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses, 1 to 2 tablespoons of seaweed, and 1 tablespoon of natural apple cider vinegar per gallon of water. Optional ingredients: fish emulsion, garlic tea, baking soda, liquid biostimulants such as Agrispon or Medina, neem and citrus oil or D‑limonene.

    Pecan Trees

    Pecan Trees (Photo credit: Aileen’s Pics)

  • If you don’t have the room inside for an entire plant, take cuttings of your favorite scented and zonal geraniums before frost. Cut a four‑inch piece of stem and remove all but three leaves. Plant in sterile potting soil and keep moist. By next spring you’ll have a healthy plant to place in the garden.
  • Cut lavender or bay leaves for moth repellant. Place in small cloth sacks. Hang in cabinets, closets and place in sweater drawers. Do not use mothballs because they are highly toxic.
  • For second flush of bloom, cut off seeds from crape myrtle trees and shrubs.
  • To make a non‑toxic furniture polish, fill a spray bottle with 1/3 lemon juice and 2/3 vegetable oil. For dusting, mix 1/4 cup of vinegar and 1/2 cup of olive oil in a pint of water. Shake mixtures thoroughly before each use.
  • Purchase and plant species tulips. Although they are not as showy or tall as hybrids, species tulips will establish and bloom in North Texas more than once.
  • Spread seed of cool‑season grasses (rye and fescue) to fill in areas where grass has died. Thick grass won’t allow weeds a foothold on bare soil during the spring. If you have spring weed problems, now is the time to sow these grasses over the complete lawn area. To prepare the lawn, cut grass short.  This is the only time that organic gardeners have an excuse to scalp the lawn. Spread seeds and keep moist during dry periods.  The cool‑season grasses will be strong in the spring, thus not allowing weed seeds a place to germinate.
  • Order and spread wildflower seed through the beginning of November. Wildseed Farms (1‑800‑848‑0078) has a specific seed mix called Firecracker for North Texas conditions. To establish, mow Bermuda lawn short and throw out seeds. If you have St. Augustine, remove the sod first. Toss out seed. Keep moist for several weeks and again during March and April for good germination. The wildflowers will need six or more hours of sun. Be patient and allow wildflowers to produce and disperse seed naturally over several seasons. The area will improve with age.
  • Collect annual and perennial seeds at mid‑morning after dew has dried. Label and store in envelopes or paper bags to avoid mold.
  • Rake and compost fallen leaves. Too many? Find a gardener who will put the leaves to good use instead of adding materials to the landfill.

    Pile of leaves (autumn)

    Pile of leaves (Photo credit: Aarthi)

  • Plant elbon rye in vegetable bedding area where root nematode damage has been on plants.
  • Reapply two to four inches of mulch over all bed areas. It will conserve water and regulate soil temperature.
  • To make spring planting easier, mark flowerbed areas with wooden markers or stones where they need replenishing.
  • Plant Johnny‑jump‑ups, calendula, salad burnet, chervil and parsley for salad greens. Plant pansies, kale, and other cool‑season flowers. Toss out seeds of Iceland, California or French poppies for next year’s blooms. Sprinkle annual seeds such as sweet pea, love‑in‑the‑mist, larkspur, phlox and Shirley poppy seeds.
  • Harvest garlic bulbs when foliage begins to turn yellow. Save largest bulbs for replanting or purchase new varieties from Gourmet Garlic Gardens, Route 1, Box 44, Bangs, Texas 76823, (325‑348‑3049).
  • Apply fall application of corn gluten meal to deter seed germination of weeds. Although dustier, organic gardeners report better results from the dust‑like corn gluten rather than the granular product. Apply 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet two weeks before fertilizing. Do not spread in areas where you’ve spread any seed.
  • Weekly foliar feed with liquid fertilizer (Medina, Agrispon, Bioform, or Neptune’s Harvest) during cool morning or evening hours. Product labels provide mixing portions.
  • Plan new flower and vegetable beds. Dig grass and weeds to a depth of two inches. Whatever you dig up should go to the compost pile to decompose over the winter. Place a thick layer of newspapers and apply compost as well as any amendments you desire. Some soil amendments include greensand, lava sand, soft rock (colloidal) phosphate, molasses, sugar and earthworm castings. Purchase and spread a few bags of some or all of these materials and you’ll notice the difference when you dig the area in the spring.
  • Time for third fertilization of lawn. For lawn, apply granular fertilization (Sustane or Texas Tee) at a rate 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Take advantage of Mother Nature and fertilize just before or after a rain storm.
  • Take hardwood cuttings of favorite plants that won’t survive the cold temperatures outside. Propagate by placing a cutting into potting mix 1 or 2 inches. Keep moist. In early spring there will be enough root growth to transplant it to a larger pot for until temperatures are consistently warm in the garden.
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5 comments

  1. […] Apply fall … Plan new flower and vegetable beds. Dig grass … … See more here: September Organic Gardening Tasks « God Girl Gail ← Best Greenhouse Kits “The Container Garden” 12 Seed Packets of […]

  2. Exquisite photo of the fall colours!

    1. Hoping to see some of it in person this year, but it’ll be a challenge in Texas…must travel…

  3. […] September Organic Gardening Tasks (godgirlgail.wordpress.com) […]

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