• October: Lifting Dahlias

    After the first heavy frost, carefully lift your dahlia tubers with a fork.  Remove the tops to within 6 inches of the crown.  Gently brush the soil off the tubers and lay them out to dry in the sun for a few hours.  Before storing, remove any tubers that are infested, dead or withered.

  • October: Cutting Back Perennials

    Cutting back your perennials in the fall or in the spring is a personal choice.  Consider cutting back only those whose foliage and seed heads don’t contribute to the beauty of your garden.  When you do cut back, cut back as close to the ground as possible.

  • October: Root Prune Shrubs to Move in Spring

    Fall is the ideal time to move shrubs and trees but if you know you won’t be able to do so this fall, prepare the plant for a spring move by root pruning it. Plunge your spade into the soil  around the base of the plant in a circle as if you were going to dig it up. Root pruning makes it easier to dig up the plant in spring and encourages the plant to generate new roots inside the circle. These roots will give the plant a head start when it’s moved to its new location and help it get established quickly.

  • 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.