Labor Day

Many folks consider Labor Day as the end of summer. Well that’s not really true. Labor Day falls on the first Monday in September and summer officially ends September 22nd.

Now that we have got that behind us, let’s think about some garden related activities that we can do to honor the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws and well-being of the country.

This long weekend would be a good time to plant new perennials and divide spring blooming varieties to take advantage of cool weather and more frequent rain. Take a look at our previous article titled Perennial Design where we give you lots of tips about how to go about this process.

Here is a great fall gardening checklist. Don’t forget to clean and lubricate all those tools that you will be putting away for the winter to ensure that they will continue to perform next summer.

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With credit to Newsday here are a whole bunch of suggestions that could keep you going the whole Labor Day long weekend.

1. If you need to reseed or renovate the lawn, this is prime time.

2. Sow lettuce, arugula, mustard greens, collards, kale, spinach and Asian greens for a cool-weather harvest.

3. Plant unpeeled individual garlic cloves, pointy ends up, 2 inches deep, 3 to 6 inches apart in full sun for next year’s crop.

4. Labor Day means it’s time for a final lawn feeding for established turf. Use a slow-release fertilizer for best results.

5. Can tomatoes, but only those that are pristine; eat the blemished ones right away.

6. Inspect evergreens for spider mites. If found, blast them off with a hose. Repeat weekly through month’s end.

7. Pull weeds out by their roots before they spread seeds.

8. Divide spring-blooming perennials, like Dutch iris and lily of the valley, now.

9. Test soil and add lime, if necessary, to raise the pH. It will work in the soil over winter.

10. Harvest grapes.

11. Most peonies should be just fine if left alone, but if yours need dividing or relocating, now is the time.

12. Remove any remaining flowers from tomato plants so they can focus energy on ripening existing fruits, and remove lower leaves to allow sunlight to reach them.

13. Get new perennials into the ground now so their roots can settle in before frost.

14. Don’t prune spring-blooming shrubs or you’ll remove buds that would become next year’s flowers.

15. If the innermost needles of evergreens are turning brown and dropping, don’t panic. It’s normal for this time of year.

16. Hurry up and get your bulb orders in; suppliers may already be running out.

17. Keep watering trees and shrubs, especially new ones, until hard frost (evergreens should continue to get drinks even during winter, in the absence of rain or snow).

18. Want winter interest? Plant witch hazel, red-twig dogwood, deciduous holly and beautyberry for now.

19. Move vacationing houseplants into the shade for a few days before rinsing off insects and bringing indoors.

20. Dig up small rosemary plants and place indoors near a sunny window for fresh herbs throughout winter.

Do you live n the greater Chicago or Denver areas and want more tips and ideas? Feel free to contact us.