Regional Gardening Tasks – Growing A Western Garden In September

A Gardener Planting Vegetables In The Garden
(Image credit: AlexRaths)

If you live in the West, September is a busy month in the garden. Your gardening to-do list will include small projects like dividing overgrown perennials as well as big ones, like harvesting remaining ripe summer veggies and putting in a winter garden. No need to get overwhelmed by the regional gardening tasks, however. Read on for a short list of work to prioritize in a western garden in September.

Gardening To-Do List

There are several ‘big item’ tasks for the western region in autumn. Your gardening to-do list should probably start with completing the harvest of all remaining summer veggies. After all the work you invested in the summer garden, it would be a shame not to make the most of it.

Take a look at your vegetable crops at the end of summer. You likely have a few tomato plants still producing fruit, as well as pumpkins, squash, and melons ripening on vines. Pinch off any new blossoms as well as the growing tips of squash and melon vines. This focuses the plant energy on ripening fruit that has already set. Leave those indeterminate cherry tomato vines in place, however. The small fruits ripen fast in a western garden in September.

Clean Up Tasks for the Western Region

As vegetable plants die back, remove them from the garden and add them to the compost if they aren’t diseased. It’s also the time to remove annual flowers, so harvest seeds if you are replanting them. After that, work the empty garden beds to break up the earth and remove roots and detritus, then add fresh compost

Check your perennials like agapanthus, coreopsis, and daylilies. If they didn’t flower well or appear too big for their space, one of your regional gardening tasks is to dig up and divide their roots. Lift the clumps with a spading fork then section them with a sharp spade or garden knife. Each section should be installed in moist, worked soil. 

Plant a Winter Garden

No matter where you live in the West, September is the time to put in cool-weather crops that do well in your area. Make up your list of winter garden crops– both vegetable and cool-weather annual flowers– and make a trip to the gardening store. 

If you live in a hot area, like Las Vegas, it’s finally time to put in leafy greens like lettuce and spinach, as well as hardy vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli

In California gardens, September is a good time to plant:

Don’t forget the flowers. Install cool-weather annual flowers in your September garden like poppies, pansies, primroses, and violas. It’s also the time to plant spring bulbs.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.