• September: Add to Your Plantings

    Take advantage of the still-warm soil and upcoming rains by planting trees, shrubs, and evergreens; use root-stimulating fertilizer to promote root growth. Now’s the time to divide and replant perennials such as peonies and irises, too.

  • September: First Frost Date

    The first frost date for the GTA is late September.  If a frost is forecast, protect tender plants with an old sheet; bring in plants that cannot withstand any frost and harvest fruits/vegetables that will be damaged by even a light frost.

  • September: Plant Bulbs for Early Spring Colour

    Order spring-flowering bulbs now and plant them as soon as they arrive. Work bone meal into bottom of planting holes for better growth. By using “lasagna” layers (or bunk bed layers as one nursery man calls them), with the late bloomers planted deepest, followed by mid-season bloomers and finally, by the earliest flowers, you can have new waves of colour and fragrance over several weeks next spring.

  • September: Sow the Last Salad Crops

    Make a final sowing of spinach along with mâche, also known as corn salad, which matches spinach for standing up to a light frost. Spinach will take a longer and longer to germinate as the soil cools; but you should be able harvest baby spinach for salads from seeds sown in early September.


  • September: Buying Bulbs

    When purchasing bulbs, check that they are firm and free of mould and soft spots.  Store them in a paper bag in a cool, dark place until you are ready to plant them.

  • September: Peonies

    September:  Peonies

    Division and moving of peonies should be done in September so that a network of feeder roots can be established before winter.  After digging up the root and washing off the soil, allow it to dry in the shade for a couple of hours.  Cut the root into sections with at least 3 eyes per section.  Plant the divisions so that the eyes are no more than 2” deep.  The planting hole should be 2’ deep and 2’ wide.

  • September: Moving and Dividing Perennials

    September is the time to  move and divide spring and summer blooming perennials.  Enrich the entire area with compost rather than just the planting hole.

  • September: Bring in the Plant, not the Pest

    As the evening temperatures begin to drop, it is time to think about bringing in your houseplants that have summered out of doors.  If possible, lift the root-ball out of the pot to check for unwanted pests; rinse the leaves with a blast of water and check the bottom of the pot and saucer for free-loaders.

  • September: Leave the Flare of the Tree Exposed

    Planting a tree too deep can cause the death of a tree.  The flare (the base of the tree where the trunk becomes wider – just above the roots) should always be left exposed.  If the flare of the tree is covered with soil or mulch, the base of the tree will rot and the tree will eventually die.  Clear away excess soil and mulch to expose the flare.

  • September: Get Soil Tested

    Problems in some flower or vegetable beds? Wondering if your soil could be at fault? Now’s the time to test it so that you know how to plan for next year.

    We recommend the City of Toronto’s Guide for Soil Testing in Urban Gardens, which outlines a step-by-step process you can follow. Click here to read or print it. Josephine Archbold is the City Of Toronto contact for questions about the soil: jarchbo@toronto.ca or 416-338-8095.  The University of Guelph’s Agriculture and Food Laboratory information can be found here.

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