September Lawn & Garden To-Do List

“Though September has already passed, it is never too late to add splashes of color to a flower garden, plant cool weather vegetables from seed and introduce new trees to your yard. You can now start cleaning up your garden and remove any debris to that no pests and diseases will attack your new plants.”


September heralds the fall gardening season with cooler temperatures and a first taste of autumn in the air. Zones 1-4 will likely experience a first frost, while warmer zones look forward to relief from the late summer heat and drought. September also marks the autumn equinox, when day and night are the same length, and the waning daylight hints at the winter to come.

Now’s the time to be outside to enjoy the beautiful weather while taking care of some of the following lawn and garden tasks for September.

Annuals and Perennials

  • Divide and/or transplant perennials, making sure to feed the roots with a good source of phosphorus.
  • Don’t disturb asters, chrysanthemums, Russian sage, ornamental grasses, or other plants that are of interest in the fall and winter.
  • September is the month to plant or transplant peonies.
  • Plant annuals such as ornamental cabbage, pansies, violas, and snapdragons.
  • After first frost in zones 7 and below, dig up and store tender bulbs such as caladium, canna, taro, elephant ear, dahlia, and tuberous begonia.

Dogwoods show off red berries against a backdrop of green leaves

Shrubs and Trees

  • Container grown trees and shrubs can be planted now.
  • Remove any dead shrubs and trees.
  • Transplant trees and shrubs after the leaves begin to turn.
  • Clean up fallen fruit to deter pests and disease.
  • Address diseases now. Remove and destroy (do not compost) unhealthy leaves and branches after treating.
  • Remove spent blooms, but don’t do any ….


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