What to Do - September
Yes, there is a lot to do, but pace yourself and you’ll get it all done.
It’s still hurricane season, so trim weak, diseased or dead tree branches, especially overhanging gutters or roof areas. Trim lanky shrubs, and have a shelter plan for containers
Refresh the mulch in your beds, keeping mulch away from tree trunks and from shrub stems when possible.
In September you can still take cuttings and divide perennials but do it as soon as possible. Days are getting shorter and the decrease in sunlight signals plants to slow their growth. Cuttings will not root as quickly.
Prune poinsettias one last time the first week in September, pinching the tip of each shoot to encourage branching. Move pots to a place where they will have sunlight but to light at night. Even a little interrupts the reproductive cycle and prevents flowering.
Give Christmas cactus a last feeding this month. Move into partial sunshine and reduce watering until buds appear.
Spray and prune roses, removing old flowers, hips and dead, damaged or spindly growth. Fertilize container-grown roses to encourage fall blooming.
Feed hanging baskets and orchids every two weeks.
It’s the last month to prune bougainvillea if you want spring blooms.
If you have formal hedges this is the last month to prune before spring.
You can still take cuttings and divide perennials but do it as soon as possible. Days are getting shorter and the decrease in sunlight signals plants to slow their growth. Cuttings will not root as quickly.
Sod or plugs can still be laid to fill in St. Augustine lawns.
Continue to monitor the lawn for signs of insect damage. Fall armyworms, chinch bugs, mole crickets, and sod webworms are still active this month. See Turf grass Pest Insects
Divide and replant perennials and bulbs that have grown too large or need rejuvenation. Add organic matter to new planting areas and monitor water needs during establishment. See Seeds and Propagation (Lawn and Garden)
Check that irrigation systems are providing good coverage and operating properly before summer rains taper off. See Landscape Irrigation
Spray citrus tree foliage on both sides with Maxicrop. In October fertilize trees with a balanced fertilizer. See Home Citrus Culture
Prepare your fall vegetable garden in containers or the ground if not done in August. Using transplants from your local garden center will get the garden off to a fast start, but seeds provide a wider variety from which to choose. See Vegetable Gardening in Florida
Plant Ornamental Grasses. Ornamental grasses provide wonderful wispy accents, whether planted in clusters or as single accent plants. Muhly grass, a Florida native, has beautiful pink blooms that sway in the autumn breeze. Often you'll see them planted in highway medians, where they have a beautiful, dramatic affect. Other great grasses for our area include red fountain grass (photo, below), white fountain grass, pink pampas grass, and cord grass.
Valuable horticultural information is only a click away at the University of Florida Extension Service/ Brevard County website.
The fertilizer ban ends September 30th... but don’t rush to fertilize everything in your landscape. Established trees and large shrubs won’t need fertilizer. Whenever possible use slow-release organic fertilizers and compost