- Harvest time! If you're saving seeds, save only healthy ones, and make sure they have thoroughly dried. Clearly label seed storage containers.
- Pick zucchini when fruit are 4 to 8 inches long—you'll get twice as many.
- Spray water on the top and undersides of zucchini foliage, early in the mornings, to control spider mites and aphids.
- After midmonth, pinch off any new tomato flowers to direct energy to ripening fruit.
- Slowly reduce watering of perennials, trees, and shrubs to allow them to harden-off for the winter.
- Be prepared to protect plants from early frost.
- At month's end, take cuttings of geraniums, fuchsias, and begonias. Root them in damp perlite.
Related: Beginner’s Guide To Seed Saving
- Fall will soon be here: Plant lettuce and other fast-growing crops to replace those harvested.
- Order spring-blooming flower bulbs and garlic to plant next month.
- Thin strawberry runners.
- Save seed from favorite open-pollinated tomatoes and peppers to develop the best regional variations of those varieties.
- At month's end, sow spinach in a coldframe for spring harvest.
- Clean up spent early crops and replace with cover crops, such as clover, oats, or barley.
- Indoors, start seeds of quick-maturing lettuce and brassicas for fall harvest.
- Cut back berry canes that have finished fruiting.
- Weed strawberries, then mulch them with compost.
- Transplant extra strawberry plants to a new bed.
- If you garden in a semiarid climate, give plants a deep soaking of 1 to ½ inches of water weekly.
- Re-seed carrots, beets, turnips, and radishes.
- Remove rose leaves infected with black spot.
- Take photos and make notes for next year's landscape.
- Gather globe amaranth, celosia, and golden-rod for air drying.
Related: The Surprising Health Benefits Of Purple Carrots
- Water the garden weekly if it isn't getting enough rain.
- For fall salads, plant leafy greens like lettuce and spinach.
- Start pansy seeds in flats to transplant in fall for early spring bloom.
- Sow seeds of poppies, bachelor's buttons (Centaurea cyanus), and sweet William (Dianthus barbatus) where you want their blooms next spring.
- Gather and dry herbs and flowers at their peak.
- Send off your order for spring bulbs and garlic for fall planting—ASAP.
Related: 4 Easy Ways To Preserve Herbs
- If the weather's dry, water your vegetable garden gently but deeply every 5 to 7 days.
- Before midmonth, sow cool-weather crops like Chinese cabbage, beets, Swiss chard, and mustard.
- Cover seedbeds with shadecloth and mist the soil often to induce sprouting.
- Late this month, set out transplants of broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and collards.
- Stop watering potted amaryllis bulbs; store them in a dark, dry spot for several weeks, then bring them out again to initiate winter bloom.
- Prune berries.
- Gather and dry herbs.
- In empty beds, plant a cover crop of red clover to build soil and reduce erosion.
- Start seeds of broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower to transplant later.
- Work compost into the garden now so it can mellow before planting.
- Continue to set out tomato and pepper transplants.
- Direct-seed limas, corn, cucumbers, squash, dill, and basil.
Related: 7 Solutions To Common Compost Problems
- Prune back tomatoes and peppers to stimulate new growth and continued production.
- Shade lettuce, chard, tomatoes, peppers, melons, and eggplants from intense sun.
- For prize-winning winter squash and pumpkins, pinch off any female flowers and young fruit that develop from now on.
- Fertilize heavy feeders—such as corn, cukes, lettuce, squash, and onions—using a dilute solution of fish fertilizer, once a week.
- Harvest annual statice, strawflowers, and ageratum, and then dry them in a cool, airy place.
- Plant annual candytuft (Iberis umbellata) and marigolds for fall color.
- Plant calendulas, stocks (Matthiola incana), bachelor's buttons (Centaurea cyanus), and forget-me-nots (Myosotis sylvatica) for early spring color.
Related: Organic Fertilizers
- Repot indoor plants in fresh soil.
- Plan the fall and winter food garden and assemble seed orders.
- Start tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and watermelons in pots—make sure they get enough afternoon shade.
- Protect the compost pile from full sun—coconut palm fronds or shade cloths will do the job, but leave air space between them and the top of the pile.
- Keep veggies growing strong with a top-dressing of compost.
- Continue to solarize empty beds to kill weed seeds and disease pathogens: Water the soil thoroughly, then seal it with clear plastic for 6 to 8 weeks.