September

Agepostemon on Mentha spicata, Metallic Sweat Bee on Mint
Agepostemon on Mentha spicata
Metallic Sweat Bee on Mint
What's Growin On In September


September can be an iffy month, weatherwise. Rejuvinate solarized planters with some organic amendments. Turn the soil over, break up clods. Re-use the old soil and mix it up with Martha Stewart's all-purpose soil mixture. Instead of peat you can also use coconut coir for a longer standing moisture rentention material. Many of these ingredients are also great to have on-hand for making your own hypertufa planters.

August, September rambutans may bloom. 

September 22 or 23 is the first day of fall each year.

Divide and Conquer

It is also the right time to divide perennials. Some bulbs like tulips and hyacinths need to be chilled in a paper sack in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator for four to six weeks or they won’t bloom. If you haven't put them in the refrigerator yet, now is the time to plunk them in there and mark your calendar to plant the bulbs next month.

Feeding:

In April, May, June, July, August and September, apply iron to black sapote and mamey sapote.

In April, May, June, July, August and September, apply soluble fertilizer OR compost rich top dressing to cacao tree and mamey sapote every six weeks.  Apply a soluble fertilizer to cinnamon tree, mango and coffee arabica every six weeks.Dig amendments into the soil. For a potted garden, a great mix is a 

May, June, July, August, September apply micronutrients to atemoya and mamey sapote.

August, September apply iron sulphate to guava, top with compost and water well.

In September, apply a slow release citrus fertlizer to canistel, citrus, avocado, black sapote, chiko sapote, guava, kiwi vines, mamey sapote, mangosteens, rambutans, soursop, white sapote. Top mamey sapote, mangosteens and rambutans with compost, water well.

August, September, October may be the time for pears to receive their second half of fertilizer. When pear trees start bearing fruit, it is the time to fertilize pear trees with an all purpose fertilizer. The calculation is (1/3 to 1/2 cup * age of tree)/2.

14-14-14 Fertilizer for flowers and vegetables. Mix it throughout the rejuvinated soil. Water it well, then water again just before planting. If you hadn't fertilized your citrus in August, do it now. Apply ammonium sulfate to help it make larger fruit. For onions, use gypsum instead of sulfer, unless you like really strong and hot onions. If you like them strong and hot, definitley use sulfer. Tomatoes and peppers would like a 21-0-0 ammonium sulfate and ironite sprinkled on moist soil around teh entire top of the planter.

Harvesting:

Mangos may bear fruit in May, June, July August and September.

In August, September, October, November your figs may start producing the main crop. Some fig trees only produce a breba crop in our climate (Desert King). Check fig trees daily for ripe fruits.  Figs are ripe when they are soft to the touch, some may drip honey from the eye and the fig droops on the tree.

May, June, July, August and September may be the time to harvest Sapodilla.
August, September, October harvest olives and cure.
Start picking lemons late September even if the fruits are green. The lemon flavor won't get affected, but they can get juicier. Limes will actually turn yellow when ripe. Don't worry about harvesting every citrus that shows up. Leave them on the tree until you need them. We can harvest basil, blackey beans, fava beans, lima beans, soy beans, yardlong beans, standard cucumbers, eggplant, jicama, melons, mint, okra, peppers, pumpkin, winter and summber squash, sweet potato, tomatillo and watermelon. For flowers, we can harvest anise hyssop, basil blossoms, chicory, chrysanthemum, clover trifolium, common mallow, day lilies, nasturtiums, queen anne's lace, rosemary blossoms, sage blossoms, savory blossoms, sunflower, and zea mays corn shoots.

Mulching:

About two weeks before planting, spread organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure over garden beds. Another mulching option is to plant compatible companion ground covers around the bottom of the big potted plants for a live mulch that can droop over the edges of the planter to add a protective layer around the roots and trunk of the main plant to prepare for the cooler season.

Planting:

In early fall, plant hardy ornamentals, bulbs, and cool-season annuals such as Iceland poppy and petunias. You may begin planting non-frost sensitive trees and shrubs from containers. Soil temperatures are still warm enough to help roots establish quickly. You can put in transplants of tomatoes, lettuce, strawberries, onions, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, chard, lettuce (head & leaf). Hold off on transplants of broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower until after the end of September or beginning of October. The temperatures must be consistently below 100°F. Plant impatiens in shady, frost protected area of the garden Plant beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, eggplant, garlic, lettuce, peas, radishes. Plant in september: calendula, carnation, dianthus, pinks, hollyhocks, nasturtium, pansy, pinks, snapdragon, stocks, sweet William, lemon verbena, viola

Pruning:

In April, May, June, July, August selectively prune mamey sapote for desirable height, shape and well balanced development.  Cut off branches that are less or more than 45 degree angle from the main trunk. 

When pruning don't ever remove more than 1/4 of the total plant. Always use sharp, sterile, quality pruning tools and disinfect them between cuts to prevent the spread of disease. This is a good time to get inside your citrus trees, trim out the water sprouts and clean out any dead wood. If your tomatoes and peppers are still alive, trim them back to 18 inches.

Sowing:

As temperatures drop below 100 degrees, seeds of cool season crops can be planted. These veggies can be directly seeded in the garden later in the month: beets, celery, carrots, chard, endive, peas, green onions, parsnips, lettuce, snap beans, bok choy, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, cucumbers, kale, lettuce, leeks, mustard, radishes, spinach, turnips African Daisies, Alyssum, Aster, Bachelor Button, Bells of Ireland, Calendula, California Poppy, Candytuft, Carnation, Clarkia, Delphinium, Forget-Me-Not, Gaillardia, Godetia, Gypsophila, Hollyhocks, Larkspur, Lupines, Nasturnium, Nicotiana, Pansy, Petunia, Phlox, Pinks, Poppy, Salpiglossis, Scabiosa, Shasta Daisy, Snapdragon, Sweet Peas, Sweet Sultan, Sweet William, Verbena, Viola

Sunning:

We certainly don't need to warm anything up for the summer months! However, we can use a solar dehydrator to sun dry some of our recent harvests. If you want the DIY, check outoffthegridnews.com.

Shading:

We continue shading peppers and tomatoes to reduce possible sunburn. We can use sunscreens around 50% reduction from now through September. Leave corn, squash, melons, blackeyed peas, okra and grapes out in the sun.

Water:

Continue to deep water on the summer schedule, which is about once a week for shrubs and every two weeks for trees. Water native shrubs every two weeks and native trees once a month. Hose off the rose leaves 1-2 times a week to remove dust, spider mites and potential white flies. Water roses about every three days and apply about five gallons of water to each plant. Don't over water after transplanting trees and shrubs. Too much water can drown and rot the roots. If your using an easy watering solution, such as the Global bucket system, flush out the water, if possible. If you're looking for a self watering system, there are several DIY plans available online. Global buckets started with one design and now hosts several designs for self watering containers. That's all, stop reading! Happy gardening!