Guest column: Plant Tips for September

Tayler Denman
Ag Extension Educator Carter County OSU Extension

Believe it or not, fall is already around the corner! I know it is hard to believe with temperatures consistently in the 90’s but the first day of fall is actually September 22. Fall will bring cooler temperatures and hopefully more rainfall soon. September is a busy time of year for preparing and planting for the cooler temperatures ahead. Now is a good time to go to your local garden center or nursery and choose your cool season ornamental plants. You can begin planting things like pansies, ornamental cabbage, snapdragons, and dusty miller as soon as the temperatures begin to cool.

While you’re at the garden center, you may want to go ahead and pick up the seed you need for your cool season vegetable garden. It is best to hurry and plant some of your vegetables like rutabagas, swiss chard, garlic, and turnips by the middle of September if you can maintain adequate soil moisture. You have a little more time to plant things like spinach, leaf lettuce, mustard, and radishes. It is best to get these in the ground by the end of September.

Bermudagrass and other warm season lawns will be preparing for fall dormancy soon. If applying nitrogen, it is best to apply the last application no later than September 15th. Some winter broadleaf weeds like dandelion will start to come up later in September so it is best to apply a 2, 4-D type herbicide when those plants are small. If you want to control weeds like henbit and chickweed with a pre emergent, you need to make those applications now! DO NOT APPLY A PRE-EMERGENT TO AREAS YOU PLAN TO SEED IN THE FALL. If you are considering establishing a cool-season lawn, mid to late September is the best time for this.

Fall is also a great time to plant trees and shrubs! In fact, research suggests that early fall is the best time to plant container grown and B&B (Balled and Burlapped) shade and ornamental trees and pines. When they are planted in the fall, they will have a better-established root system when spring comes around.

One more order of business to prepare for fall and winter this month is to begin preparing your tropical houseplants for winter indoors by moving them to the shade so they can acclimate better to indoor conditions.


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If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call. If we don’t know the answer, we will find someone who does!

— Contact Tayler Denman at or 580-223-6570.