Sunday, September 1, 2013

Monthly Garden To-Do List: September

Welcome to Indian Summer in the Lamorinda Garden!  This month, it is usually hot but by the end of September, it can be getting cool.  No freezing temps are expected for the month, but we actually need jackets by the end of the month.  Garden tasks for September tend toward wrapping up summer and getting ready for cooler temps.

What's Ready?

  • Black currants 
  • peppers 
  • zucchinis/ summer squash
  • green beans 
  • figs (second fruiting)
  • pears
  • tomatoes will keep going until the first frost
  • apples
  • basil
  • celery
  • eggplant
  • grapes
  • melons
  • nectarines
  • onions
  • plums
  • pluots
  • winter squash
  • blackberries 

Kitchen Tasks

  • hot peppers can be dried
  • the wild plums should be finished; if not, pick the last of them and make some sorbet or chutney

Garden Tasks

  • prune the blackberries after they are done fruiting- only remove the canes which bore fruit this year
  • keep taking leaves off the kale and it will keep giving 
  • plant those winter veggies~ all the cruciferous veggies like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and kale (if you don't have some in already- plus, it is much sweeter in the cold months).  You can use seeds for these if you start early enough in the month.  
  • You could also try for some fall veggies like snap peas and lettuces- if it's not too hot this year.  If it is looking to be very hot, you can still plant them- just do it where there is partial shade (the shade of another veggie in the same box is enough to protect these plants).  I'd do these from starts if you didn't plant them last month.
  • plant the annual garlic - anywhere in the garden, especially under your roses because the deer hate the smell of garlic but love the rose odor- a clove now will be a bulb next summer (you will be able to tell when it is ready when the greens dry up)
  • Make sure your trees in deer zones with narrow trunks (biceps width or smaller) have wrapping of some sort- otherwise the male deer will rub the velvet off their growing antlers on your trunks and rub the bark off
  • fill the hot tub (or empty it, clean it, and re-fill it)
Most of all, enjoy the fruits of your summer labor!  You should be sick of zucchini by now!  You should also still be able to keep enjoying those fresh caprese salads all month and also add back some crisp, fresh apples (ah, the Gravenstein!  Harbinger of fall).  Nights are still warm enough to be out, but maybe in the hot tub or under a heat lamp instead of just with a chilled beer.  The sunsets in September are getting earlier, but are still our best of the year.  

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