Florida Gardening in September

Autumn paints in colors that summer never sees.

September Gardening:

Unfortunately, I wasn’t here for a large chunk of September due to a fantastic family vacation. When I left everything in my garden was growing and green. We were still getting consistent rains, and I had started seeds in my vegetable garden. Then I abandoned my plants for 14 days.  I did hire a surrogate garden care taker to water my plants, but while I was away Hurricane Irma overshadowed any concern with watering. Plus, it was probably raining a little too much for the plants anyway. I returned home to dry soil in all my potted plants and even a few dead trees. The hurricane winds had shredded some of my elephant ears (Tarul) and canna lilies. My beautiful green beans were shrivelled and dry. Needless to say, I’ve just been cleaning up my yard and trying to get back to square one.

But, lucky for you (and me) I have this amazing book, Month-by-Month Gardening: Florida written by Tom Maccubbin, and this will help navigate what may be happening in your garden.

What to plant:

  • Corn
  • Beans
  • Squash
https://static.pexels.com/photos/96715/pexels-photo-96715.jpeg
Corn (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

These plants were planted together during the time of the Native Americans and are referred to as the three sisters. They will produce a harvest around the same time. This is also the last month to plant tomatoes and cucumbers. You can start thinking about what herbs to plant with the cooler temperatures nearer.

What you may be harvesting:

  • Avocados
  • Grapes
  • Persimmons
  • Carambolas
  • Bananas
  • Early citrus
  • Papaya
https://static.pexels.com/photos/434137/pexels-photo-434137.jpeg
Papaya (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Annuals to consider:

Some of the flowers in your garden may start to fade, so you can consider filling in empty spaces with colorful annuals, such as:

  • Celosias
  • Cleomes
  • Nicotianas
  • Gazanias
  • Marigolds
  • Scarlet sages
  • Begonias

Trees:

If you moved to Florida from the North and are missing those fall colors, plant:

  • Bald cypress
  • Chicksaw plum
  • Crepe myrtle
  • Redbud
  • Red maple
  • River birch
  • Sugarberry
  • Sweet gum
  • Winged elm
autumn, autumn colours, autumn leaves
Red maple (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

You can also plant trees with fall flowers, such as:

  • Golden rain tree
  • Loquat
  • Sweet acacia

September marks the end of summer, which can mean busy school schedules, but it’s a time when gardening can be happier with cooler temperatures and the promise of less humidity. The entire garden can transform as we turn toward a drier season. Embrace these changes and move with the season.

References:

Maccubbin, Tom. Month-By-Month Gardening Florida: What to Do Each Month to Have a Beautiful Garden All Year. Minneapolis, MN: Cool Springs Press, 2014.

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