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September is the New May

Let me start with a shoutout to the New York Times who ran the title ‘When its Time to Plant, September is the new May1 highlighting the fall planting season. It started me thinking that they really are on to something, but it goes even further than the Times article suggests. Experienced gardeners know that fall is the best time for planting most perennials and trees, but it can be much more.

With the changing climate, our summers are getting hotter, and it is harder then ever to keep our gardens looking good, not to mention containers and window boxes. But along with that comes a longer growing season in the fall. Mild late summer/early fall temperatures create a perfect growing season – just like May – and with frost arriving later than ever, there is plenty of time to enjoy it.

Perhaps we need to tap the brakes a bit on our old habit of jumping directly from August into fall decorating. Putting out mums, pumpkins, gourds, and such too early just means they spoil long before you really want them to be at their best, especially in warm weather. So why not rejuvenate those flowerbeds and enjoy them a little longer. Many annuals already planted may look a little ratty, but they have a full root system so a light trim and a little fertilizer can turn them into a showpiece in no time and milder temperatures help them just get better and better each week. Annuals in larger sizes are still available to fill in any gaps. Add in late blooming perennials and shrubs, then sit back, relax, and enjoy summer a little bit longer. There will be plenty of time for frost on the pumpkins.

1 New York Times, Sunday, September 4, 2022. The quote, “September is the new May” is attributed to Jenny Rose Carey.

Jim Glick


Red flowers
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