What You Need to Do for Your Landscape In September
The last weeks of August often offer our landscaping company a little break because families on Long Island are often getting in that last summer vacation. We take a little time to ourselves too - load up the truck with kayaks, bikes, paddle boards, fishing poles and a grill and off for some R&R.
We take the break in late August because September is right around the corner and we'll be working to prepare landscapes for the next seasons. I love working outside in September because the humidity falls and the dry air makes working outside an absolute pleasure.
The 5 Things You Must Do for your Landscape in September
September is right before the season is about to change. Here are the 5 things you must do to your landscape in September to prepare it for fall, winter and next spring. Most can be done in one day for smaller yards and a bit longer if you plan on upgrading some old mature shrubs.
Rebuild, overseed lawns, Establish new lawns with seeding. Aerate your lawns.
September is the time to seed. Weeds will begin dying when the temperature cools and the new grass seed will thrive. For established lawns, aerate and seed. For new lawns, overseed with a slit seeding machine.
Tip: Aeration is the process of punching small holes in the soil. The small holes allow air, water and nutrients to enter the root system. Aeration also improves compacted soil by lessing the restrictions on root growth that make it susceptible to disease.
Split, divide and move perennials
Spring and summer flowering perennials have finished flowering. If they are getting too big or covering some evergreens, split or divide them. This way, they won't be as difficult next Spring.
Tip: Split daylily, hosta and even some ornamental grasses in September. The air will be cooling off while the soil will stay warm for another 6-8 weeks. Doing it in September will give the plants plenty of time to establish themselves and be a healthy addition to another spot in the garden next spring.
Pruning shrubs and trees
Clip off any dead or broken limbs, branches and foliage. This promotes healthy growth and improves aesthetics. Deciduous trees and shrubs benefit from a light pruning now because they have time to heal and become ready for their winter dormancy period. Evergreen trees and shrubs can be pruned at this time if needed.
Tip: Don't prune hydrangeas that flower on old wood, azaleas and rhododendrons. It'll make them not flower next spring. These plants should be pruned immediately after flowering, so wait on those.
Inspect the irrigation system and change the watering times.
Be aware that the watering schedule that was in place through the dry and hot weather in the summer is going to provide too much water for the fall. Too much water leads to root rot so when the temp dips, so does the plant.
Tip: Walk the landscape and identify areas that are wet. Drip zones must be turned down as the soil will take more time to dry out when it’s cooler.
Tip: Be aware of the weather. Many times I come across properties that are still watering after two days of rain over already wet soil conditions. It rains often in the fall and the soil can be saturated for days after a good soaking. Consider adding drip for your containers too. Today these systems are easy to upgrade.
Plant new trees and shrubs
Upgrading your landscape now allows the new plants to be established and starting to develop at the beginning of next spring. New growth on evergreens, buds on roses and perennials emerging from beneath the mulch are what spring is about in your garden. Upgrade one bed or give your home some new curb appeal. You don’t have to go through the inconvenience of having equipment, crews and trucks crossing your nice lawn in the spring. Those take some time to heal if done later in the season.
We are a landscaping company, masonry company and pool company. We've been designing, building and maintaining landscapes for decades. We do everything that must be done to landscapes in September. Call us at 631-424-5544 and request a consult in our Centerport, NY Design Studio and let us know you'd like us to take care of your landscape in September.