Perennials: Plant, divide or move peonies in September.
Remember that the eye must be planted 2 inches below the ground.
Many early-blooming perennials can be divided and planted this month. Always add a bit of compost to the planting hole. Divide day lilies after bloom. Move perennial plants started from seed to a nursery row or to their permanent place in the border. Mulch later on after first hard frost.
Flowers: Remove annuals as they fade and add them to the compost. Continue taking new cuttings of geraniums, coleus, wax begonias and impatiens for indoors. Containers filled with hardy perennials and grasses with autumn color are a refreshing change from pink geraniums, and they will last through a light frost.
Vegetables and fruits: Keep up with harvest. Make preserves, jelly and pickles now that the weather has cooled. Store leftover vegetable seed in jars or plastic bags in a cool, dry place.
Trees and shrubs: Needled evergreens lose their oldest set of needles each fall. Gather the pine needles for mulching strawberries and broadleaf acid-loving evergreens. Help shrubs harden off for winter by moving mulch a few inches away from the trunk.
Lawns: Labor Day is a good time to fertilize the lawn. Continue lawn care â€” seed or sod new lawns and keep moist. Mow when new grass is 3 inches high.
Houseplants: Houseplants should be indoors now. Water when the soil feels dry, but do not overwater. Some plants will be too large for their pots. If a larger pot causes space problems, knock the plant out of the pot, loosen roots and trim them in the same manner used to maintain bonsai. Add fresh soil and replant.
General: Enjoy the fruits and colors of the late summer garden.
â€” Susan Henry