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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

September - The Fall May

Callicarpa dichotoma 'Early Amethyst'
Through my 10 20 30 many seasons of gardening, I’ve come to realize that September is just as important a month in deciding how the garden will look in the springtime, as May is for deciding how the garden will look in the summertime.

September… it’s the fall May, at least in my USDA Hardiness Zone 5b garden. (Your September may vary.)

All year I dream of the days of September, when the breezes are cool, the skies are blue, the compost bins are full, and the garden is ready for planting again.

The days of September should not be wasted! There is way too much to do, as noted by Henry Mitchell…

“… but fall--not spring—is the great planting season for woody things. If, in other words, you had thought of lolling in the warm weekends admiring the chrysanthemums and the dogwoods turning red, congratulating yourself perhaps that the weeds are losing heart, let me cheerfully remind you that you should be exhausted (not lolling) since this is the busiest of all the garden seasons. When you are not planting bulbs, digging up bindweed roots, rooting out pokeweed, soaking bamboo, there are still other tasks. Thousands of them. You are terribly behind. The very idea of just sitting about in the sun!” Henry Mitchell, The Essential Earthman (Indiana University Press)

I’m taking this to heart this year more so than other years. I’ve lolled around through August. It was hot. It was dry. It was the driest August in the history of Indianapolis, beating the record set in 1897, which you know if you have read any of my tweets recently.

No more lolling! It’s September. Time to garden, once again!

Garden, on three…

One… Two… THREE!

GARDEN!

15 comments:

M A Newcomer said...

You just LOVED noting the Henry Mitchell book was published in Indiana didn't you?

I am not lolling.No sireeeeeee bob.

Gail said...

No lolling here, well, maybe a little; it still feels like summer~But, once it cools a bit I will be out there removing bush honeysuckle etc gail

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

September is one of the best months (arguably the best month) here in Chicagoland. I save most of my woody plant planting for September. I pot up the little shrubs I buy in spring, then by September they are big and ready to go into the ground. I have more to plant this year than usual because spring was so wet, the soil wasn't workable until it got too late.

Susan in the Pink Hat said...

One planting a day keeps the dogpiling away. That's what I say. I live for fall. Hands down, favorite season. It's also the season of digging giant holes for tree planting. Who could pass on a season where digging giant holes is encouraged? My twitter feed is all a flutter with planting activity. Just keep planting, just keep planting, planting, planting...

gardenwalkgardentalk.com said...

There is so much to do in September. I am just hoping to get to it. Pretty much say that every month though. So much to trim, cut back, water, plant, dig up, re-pot, prune, deadhead, sweep up, rake, ect. ect. ect.I am getting tired just typing about it, let alone getting the energy to go out there and do it. At least we will drop from 90 to 70 by weeks end. Hooray. Here's hoping rain for all.

Leslie said...

I do so love Henry Mitchell. You are right...time to get cracking!

fairegarden said...

No lolling, or gagging for that matter! I adore H. Mitchell, have several of his books. His wisdom is for the ages. September is a time of wonderment and change, well loved here.
Frances

Commonweeder said...

The oppressive heat is supposed to leave today, but I have already been making lists of things to do this fall - prompted by the news that my garden will be on a June tour - and my plans to have divisions to sell at a fundraising plant sale in spring. Both events dictate a whole range of chores. I love Henry Mitchell, too. So wise.

Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings said...

I lolled in August too. It was hot and dry here, but that's normal for our neck of the woods. I hear we're having a storm tonight, and I'm going to do some work outside in anticipation. No lolling allowed. You must have started as a very young gardener. :)

Ginny said...

My September and October to-do list goes on and on and on. But what a fun time to be working in the garden - my absolute favorite time.

nanne said...

i would love to see your september to-do list---it's my first fall to garden in indiana & i need a little seasonal guidance.

mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...

September is a big garden work month in Austin, too. Fall is definitely our best time to plant just about anything. What success or failure we have, though, depends a lot on the hurricane season and whether it brings some rain from the Gulf inland.

Carol said...

SO MUCH TO DO AND SO LITTLE TIME.... I WAS PLANNING TO TAKE A FEW DAYS OFF FROM THE JOB TO WORK IN THE YARD AND FORGOT TO GET THE REQUEST TURNED IN ON TIME SO NO I HAVE TO WORK THE WHOLE MONTH. OH POOH!

Chookie said...

It's funny to think that we also plant perennial plants in autumn -- so their roots settle in before our hot summer. But I'd tend to plant them in April, the second month of our autumn.

Anika said...

How do you get rid of your bush honeysuckle? I noticed you mention you'll be doing it soon in one of the comments to this entry.

Just started watching your Twitter and also just IDd a bush honeysuckle in my yard and saw that they're terribly invasive.