September Lawn & Garden Tips

Potted Plants

DAYLIGHT HOURS ARE RETREATING about thirty minutes per month from their peak of 13:26 at the Summer Solstice on June 20, with Autumn arriving on September 22. Less than 12 hours of daylight hours will remain by the end of the month limiting our time in the September lawn and garden.

TEMPERATURE HIGHS AND LOWS drop five degrees on average in September. August highs and lows in the Jacksonville area of Craig Field were 96F and 72F, respectively, for a monthly average of 83F. The heaviest rain for the month at Craig Field totaled 2.31 inches between August 14-15, with a monthly total of 9.21 inches, that’s 2.3 inches above average.

HURRICANE SEASON PEAKS IN SEPTEMBER with the National Hurricane Center tracking two tropical depressions, one tropical storm, and one tropical disturbance on September 1. The first hurricane of 2021, Hurricane Elsa (CAT 1), struck Florida on July 8, resulting in an emergency declaration but minimal damage. Then there was a lull in activity until mid-August when Tropical Storm Fred popped up along with Hurricanes Grace and Henri, all three active over five days. Hurricane Grace became a category three storm that hit Haiti two days after a devastating earthquake that killed thousands before striking Mexico. Hurricane Henri, a CAT 1 storm, dropped record amounts of rain in the Northeast.
Hurricane Ida formed as the fourth of the 2021 season, striking Louisiana as a CAT 4 with 150 mph maximum sustained winds on August 30, the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina striking the area. Hurricane Ida was the second strongest hurricane to hit New Orleans on record, causing the deaths of four or more people and billions in property damage. According to news reports, Grand Isles, Louisiana, was left uninhabitable due to widespread flooding and property damage. Our “Hurricane Season Landscape Preparation” blog has more detailed, helpful tips focused on your landscape during tropical storms and hurricanes. If experiencing ongoing drainage issues on your property in Northeast Florida, consider booking a drainage consultation with Earth Works that offers various drainage solutions.

AUTUMN PLANTINGS plans should be well underway in September. This is an excellent time to remove the Spring and Summer vegetable and herb garden remnants and amend your soils if you enjoy vegetable gardening. Autumn vegetable seeds and seedlings to consider include tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, broccoli, and collards. Autumn flowering plant recommendations include ageratum, begonias, coleus, honeysuckle, plumbago, sage, salvia, and stromanthe. September is a good time to consider dividing overgrown perennials. Consider freshening up your container gardening ahead of the holiday season. If you need help selecting pots and plants Earth Works can provide materials and assistance putting them together. As temperatures are moderating, September is an excellent time to plant those shrubs and trees you’ve been considering. If you can’t transport and install yourself the Earth Works garden center likewise provides that service.

As an additional resource the University of Florida IFAS Duval County Extension Office is hosting a Plant Clinic at the Earth Works garden center on September 11 at 10am – 2pm. Bring your plant questions and plant samples to speak with an area Master Gardener.

CONSIDER A FINAL FERTILIZATION for your lawn ahead of Winter, along with fertilizing your citrus, shrubs, and trees, including palms, in September. After a hot and rainy Spring and Summer growing season, an Autumn fertilizer application replenishes the soil. It provides your plants added nutrition to strengthen root systems ahead of Winter.

LAWN PESTS in the September lawn and garden according to Chad Lakin, Earth Works lawn care operations manager continues to be sod webworms and gray leaf spot. As noted in August, for gray leaf spot keep mower blades sharp and cut the grass high, only removing the top third of the grass leaf blades when mowing to reduce stress. Additionally, Spring and Fall seasons are primetime for ant populations. Florida is home to fire ants, carpenter ants, ghost ants, white-footed ants, Caribbean, and Tawny crazy ants. “The black crazy ant has conquered the world. From its native ranges in Asia and Africa, it has spread across six continents and lives in almost 120 nations. It is arguably the most widespread ant on the planet.  It spreads readily for many reasons,…” according to National Geographic. Crazy ants have immunity to fire ant bites and can have multiple queens per nest. As a result, they are considered a growing threat to Florida property owners with their vast numbers of infested properties and homes.

Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew Concentrate contains Spinosad, a bacteria that’s an effective organic control for fire ants. Ferti-lome Broad Spectrum Insecticide with Bifenthrin is our recommended insecticide for aphids, chinch bugs, sod webworms, grasshoppers, and a wide variety of ants.

Visit Earth Works at booth #541 at the Jacksonville Home & Patio Show on Thursday thru Sunday, September 30 – October 3, 2021.

For comprehensive solutions to your specific lawn, garden and landscaping need, contact Earth Works of Jacksonville online and at 904-996-0712.
We proudly serve clients in Northeast Florida, including Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra Beach, Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, Jacksonville Beach, Nocatee, St. Johns, Fleming Island, Orange Park, Middleburg, Green Cove Springs, Amelia Island, Fernandina, and St. Augustine.

Happy Gardening!