Texas Cooperative Extension,
Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

September 2005

Garden Checklist for September, 2005

by Dr. William C. Welch, Extension Horticulturist,
Texas Cooperative Extension, Harris County, TX

Chile Serrano peppers
'Chile Serrano' peppers

  • Rejuvenate heat stressed geraniums and begonias for the fall season by lightly pruning, fertilizing, and watering.

  • Caladiums require plenty of water at this time of year if they are to remain lush and attractive until fall. Fertilize with ammonium sulfate at the rate of l/3 to l/2 pound per 100 square feet of bed area, and water thoroughly.

  • Don't allow plants with green fruit or berries to suffer from lack of moisture. Hollies will frequently drop their fruit under drought conditions.

  • Remove weak, unproductive growth from crape myrtles and roses to stimulate new growth for all beauty.

  • Prune out dead or diseased wood from trees and shrubs. Hold off on major pruning until midwinter. Pruning now may stimulate tender growth prior to frost.

  • Sow seeds of snapdragons, pinks, pansies, and other winter flowers in flats for planting outside during mid to late fall.

  • Prepare the beds for spring flowering bulbs as soon as possible. It's important to cultivate the soil and add generous amounts of organic matter to improve the water drainage. Bulbs will rot without proper drainage.

  • Divide spring flowering perennials such as irises, shasta and oxeye daisies, gaillardias, canna lilies, daylilies, violets, liriopes, and ajugas.

  • Fertilize and groom verbenas, perennial salvias and lantanas by lightly pruning and removing non-vigorous wood, to stimulate a long and productive fall season.

  • Christmas cacti can be made to flower by supplying 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness and cool nights (55 degrees F) for a month starting in mid-October. Keep plants on the dry side for a month prior to the treatment.

  • As they begin to dry naturally on the plants, cut ornamental gourds and store in a well ventilated, dry place for several weeks prior to use.