Gardening in the Month of September

For Ottawa – Zone 5

  • Stop pruning and fertilizing, as you don’t want to encourage new, tender growth just before cold weather arrives.
  • Continue watering plants such as fall vegetables that are still actively growing.
  • Plant spring bulbs such as daffodils, tulips, and hyacinth (once planted, add a layer of blood meal to keep the squirrels at bay).
  • Plant fall-flowering annuals, which you can find at garden nurseries at bargain prices this month; they will only last until the first frost, but will provide great color well into October.
  • Stop watering both evergreen and deciduous trees in late September to help them prepare for winter.
  • Divide perennials such as hostas, peonies, cone flowers, etc. as needed to fill in bare spots or to give away to friends and neighbors.
  • Dig and store bulbs such as dahlias, cannas, and elephant ears by cutting back the green stems, drying them out, and storing them in peat moss in your basement.
  • Bring in any houseplants that you have had outdoors during the summer when/if frosty nights are forecasted; just be careful to inspect them first for insects that you don’t want to bring inside.

About the Author

The Garden Gate is a monthly feature about all things gardening. Opinions are my own. If you have ideas for upcoming articles or want to share your thoughts about this month’s article, please contact Patricia by email: or on Instagram: @ottawaplantbynumbers. Patricia has lived in and been an avid gardener in Alta Vista for over 30 years.

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