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September garden calendar

Gardening basics

The best time to plan for mouthwatering strawberries is now. You can use runners from your own garden or check farmer's markets or catalogs for plants. The new bed should be placed in full sun; plant in a raised bed if drainage is poor. Prepare the soil by tilling in organic matter and fertilizer according to package directions. Best planting is done as the weather cools a bit. The advantage: plants get a head start on root development.

Kitchen Garden

Top tomatoes, peppers, vining squash and eggplants to speed ripening of already set fruit. Harvest fruit as it ripens. Compost or clean up spent plants.

Give spring peas an early start. As the soil cools, plant seeds near a trellis or teepee. The young plants will grow until the winter arrives, when growth appears to stop. Once the temperatures and day length begin to increase, the vines will resume growing and you will have an early crop of peas. Your success depends in part on friendly winter weather. (Foolproof gardens don't exist.)

Sow seeds for greens like arugula, kale, lettuce and mustard. Transplant starts of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and celery. Put in garlic and shallot bulbs. Seed empty beds with cover crops.

Ornamental Garden

If not already done, fertilize roses early in the month for the last time this season. (Plants need to go dormant soon.) Keep attention on fungus control; clean up and dispose of leaves with black spot.

Nurseries have new shipments of interesting plants. If you have empty vegetable beds, buy small starts and overwinter young ornamentals with your veggies. Transplant to permanent locations before plants break dormancy in spring.

Late this month through October-breathe deeply and pull out summer annuals. Replace with winter friendly pansies, snapdragons or primroses. The longer you wait, the smaller your winter display. Bright, light colors show up best in winter.

Lawn

Monitor watering needs closely. About 1 inch per week is right for September lawns. Lawns may benefit from a feeding now. Avoid fertilizing on hot days.

Check for thatch. Two inches or more thick and it should definitely be removed. This is also a good time to aerate lawns and rake in about ½ inch of compost.

Garden Events

Join the Master Food Preserves as they teach the principles of making relish and chutney. Class will be on September 19 from 7-9 PM at the Extension Auditorium, 569 Hanley Rd, and Central Point. A $5.00 materials fee payable the day of the class. Call Sheila at 776-7371 for more information and to pre-register.

Learn how to safely preserve pears and apples using the water bath canning technique. Hear about making butters, jellies, spiced apple rings, cider and preserves. A $5.00 materials fee for the class, taught by OSU Food Education Volunteers, September 26, 7-9 PM at the Extension Auditorium, 569 Hanley rd, Central Point. Call Sheila at 776-7371 for more information and to reserve a space.

September garden calendar