Hello, garden friends. Let’s welcome the month of September. It’s our ninth month of the year and in the Northern Hemisphere it’s the beginning of autumn. 

Even though it doesn’t feel like autumn here in Los Banos with high temperatures still in the 90s, there’s a slight hint with shorter days. 

I love the fact I can start thinking about ordering spring flowering bulbs. Daffodils, Dutch iris, snow drops and ranunculus are some of my favorites. 

Even though it’s too early to plant bulbs, you can now start to prepare the soil. Begin by taking a garden fork and turning the soil. Add generous amounts of organic compost and bone meal. Again, take your fork and blend soil, compost and fertilizer. 

Other garden duties for September include. 

Dig and divide German Bearded Iris, cut foliage by 2/3 and plant in newly prepared flower beds. 

Planting flowering shrubs such as camellias, viburnum, hydrangeas, roses, crape myrtles and redbuds. Also let’s not forget some of our wonderful California natives, and Australian and South African plants, as well. 

Continue to water deep, especially our beautiful shade trees. As I mentioned before, sprinkling doesn’t do any good. 

It’s a great time to plant garlic and your choice of any cool season vegetables. 

Lawn renovation can be done this time of year. This would include removing thatch with a vertical de-thatcher machine and aeration. This time of year, I like to use hollow core tines on an aeration machine. After thatch and cores plugs are removed, top dress with a fine organic top dressing, making sure all cores are filled with the dressing. 

If you want to over seed your lawn broadcast seed befoe, adding top dressing. Continue to water, to promote new root growth. Don’t fertilize until October. 

For some annual flower color, plant snapdragon, stocks, asters, nasturtiums are some of the few. 

Please feel free to contact me with any questions regarding your garden,. 

Mark Koehler

Mark Koehler of Los Banos is an arborist and master gardener, who has degrees in Landscape Architecture and Landscape Horticulture from UC Berkeley and Northeastern University.