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Your Regional Garden News - Zone 8

September 1 to September 30

 

Discover what you should be doing right now.  Our experts share gardening advice, techniques, news, and ideas to make your garden the best ever.  

Here's what's happening in your gardening region:

September marks the start of cool season weather and a new flush of growing for zone 5 and 6 and if you have kids, it marks the start of another school year. The combination of cooler temperature, more frequent moisture and less bugs make for almost perfect conditions for fall crops. Here are some of things to do in September:

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    Learn about fall gardening

    While the weather won’t cool down a lot until October, now is the time to get started on fall gardening. You’ll clean up the garden, removing summer annuals, sow seeds for fall and winter vegetables, and plant seeds for fall-blooming flowers now. Learn about how to refresh your containers for fall, compost what you trim and yank out of the garden, and how to grow some essential fall salad vegetables—radishes!

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    Sow a soup garden

    Winter vegetables are some of the best for soup! Root vegetables such as turnips, carrots, potatoes, and parsnips hold up well when cooked for an extended period of time. If you want delicious soups in January, the time to plant these vegetables is now. They’re easy to grow—just sow, keep moist during germination, and thin as the plants get larger. Plants in the brassica family—cauliflower and cabbage—are great for soup, too. Here are some of our favorite soup vegetables.

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    Plant a fall flower garden

    Just because the days are getting shorter doesn’t mean you have to live without color in the garden. There are plenty of pretty fall flowers that, if planted now, will put on a good show until next spring. Nasturtium, Snapdragon, and Calendula are all great cool weather flowers for gardens in zones 7 and 8. Use a nail clipper to nick the seed coat of the Nasturtium before planting so that they germinate easily.

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    Learn about growing winter vegetables

    One of the best parts of living in zones 7 and 8 is that you can grow vegetables year-round. You won’t be growing squash and tomatoes when the weather cools off, though. You’re going to need to plant things like leeks, broccoli, spinach, carrots, cabbage, kale, and other cold weather lovers. These vegetables aren’t difficult to grow but they do require a bit of different care and timing. Learn how to get the best winter garden from these tips.

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    What you need for garden cleanup

    A change in seasons means a changeover in the garden. Spring cleanup is all about raking leaves and hunting for plants sprouting amidst the gloom of short days. Fall gardening is about cutting down and weeding out. Before you do anything, get yourself a good wheelbarrow. Then pick up these handy gardening tools to help you yank, dig, and transport all of that vegetable matter that grew over the summer. And don’t forget to compost!

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Gardening Tip of the Day

  • Fall is a great time to make landscape improvements. Summer foot traffic often beats down the lawn indicating the route an improved path should take. Simply follow this route from point A to point B when laying out a permanent path from the back door to the garage for example. Visit the library for instructional material on path construction. If you want to reroute traffic, put up a fence.