THROUGH THE SEASONS

AUTUMN at a GLANCE

For many home owners and aspiring gardeners, laying out a game plan for regular care and upkeep can feel like a daunting task. Knowing just when to plant, prune, fertilize, etc. also has a huge effect on the overhaul health, success and yield of your garden. So where to begin?! Here is a general Home and Garden Maintenance Guide to help you get oriented in the basic flow through each season.

Keeping a garden journal can be a great tool for helping organize a routine and plan ahead for various tasks. I’ve known some folks to take it to a whole other level and develop their garden journals into some truly amazing scrapbooks, complete with pressed flowers, family recipes, pictures, personal notes, poems and art, herbal folk remedy recipes, reference info, materials and “D.I.Y. article clippings, plant profile tags from the nursery, seed packets organized in their respective months and more! Or just print these articles to hang on your refrigerator for a ”to-do” checklist!

For more extensive lists of pruning, sow and harvesting dates, follow the links to my “Pruning Calendar” and “Vegetable Sow and Harvest Calendar”, in the above menu.

This guide was developed for the Pacific Northwest Hardiness Zones 7 – 9.

GOOD LUCK!!!

*REMINDER: 1st Frost Dates for the Pacific NW, usually fall sometime in mid-November.

GENERAL MONTHLY TASKS for AUTUMN:

SEPTEMBER

There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been!”

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley

*FULL MOON: “HARVEST MOON”
*FLOWER: FORGET-ME-NOT, MORNING GLORY & ASTER
*TREE: WILLOW, HAZELNUT
*COLOR: BLUE
*BIRTHSTONE: SAPPHIRE
*ANIMAL TOTEMS: BEAR, RAVEN & FISH, SWAN, BUTTERFLY
*ASTROLOGICAL ZODIAC SIGNS:
-VIRGO: (August 23 – September 22) PLANET: Mercury
-LIBRA: (September 23 – October 22) PLANET: Venus

HOME & GARDEN CHECKLIST:

  1. Compost spent annuals, weed and clean up garden beds.
  2. Plant perennials and bulbs for Spring blooms, when the temperature drops below 60 F.
  3. Also, as temperatures cool off, mid to late September is a good time Fall Lawn Repair of summer weather stressed lawns, in time to better endure potential winter damage. De-thatch and aerate, as needed. Over-seed, apply organic fertilizer, and rake 0.5” – 1” inch of fresh mulch into lawns.
  4. Continue mowing. Cycle grass clippings and mulched leaves back into lawns.
  5. Harvest end of Summer crops and keep canning for the coming Winter.
  6. Cut back, gather and dry herbs for seasonings, teas, herbal remedies, potpourris, etc.
  7. New trees and shrubs can be planted during the cooler days of September, to better establish in time for Winter.
  8. Garlic, chives, onions, radish, spinach, winter greens can be sown.
  9. Clean moss off of roofs ahead of the coming rainy weather.

HOLIDAYS & OBSERVANCES

  • SEPTEMBER: National Organic Harvest Month
  • SEPTEMBER 4: National Wildlife Day
  • SEPTEMBER 4: Hummingbird Day
  • SEPTEMBER 7: International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies
  • SEPTEMBER 16: World Ozone Layer Day
  • SEPTEMBER 18: National Clean-up Day
  • SEPTEMBER 21: Zero Emissions Day
  • SEPTEMBER 22-23: Autumnal Equinox
  • SEPTEMBER 25: National Public Lands Day
  • SEPTEMBER (last Sunday): World Rivers Day

OCTOBER

“Give me juicy autumnal fruit ripe and red from the orchard,…”

~ Walt Whitman

*FULL MOON: “HUNTER’S MOON”
*FLOWER: CALENDULA
*TREE: MAPLE, WALNUT & ROWAN
*COLOR: BLACK, ORANGE
*BIRTHSTONE: PINK TOURMALINE & OPAL
*ANIMAL TOTEMS: RAVEN, SNAKE & BUTTERFLY, WOLF
*ASTROLOGICAL ZODIAC SIGNS:
-LIBRA: (September 23 – October 22) PLANET: Venus
-SCORPIO: (October 23 – November 21) PLANET: Mars

HOME & GARDEN CHECKLIST:

  1. Cut back Summer blooming perennials.
  2. Separate and transplant (or give away) excess overgrown perennials.
  3. Keep on top of Fall debris clean-up.
  4. Fill and stir compost bins.
  5. Plant trees and shrubs in time for Winter.
  6. Plant winter annuals such as pansies, snap dragons, mums, violas, ornamental kale, etc.
  7. Harvest time for pumpkins, winter squash, potato, root crops, etc.
  8. Garlic, chives, onions, winter greens can be sown.
  9. Sow cover crops in vegetable beds to be tilled in for extra nitrogen and other essential nutrients, in the Spring.
  10. Broadcast wildflower seeds for spring bloom or fallow fields/meadows.
  11. Wrap up outdoor painting projects.
  12. As outdoor light diminishes, take down screens and wash Summer dust off windows.
  13. Inspect and winterize your home. Seal up any potential entrances that rodents, etc. might get in.

HOLIDAYS & OBSERVANCES

  • OCTOBER: National Farm to School Month
  • OCTOBER (1st Wednesday): National Kale Day
  • OCTOBER 1: Raccoon Appreciation Day
  • OCTOBER 4: Feast of St Francis of Assisi
  • OCTOBER 4: World Habitat Day
  • OCTOBER 12: Old Farmers Day
  • OCTOBER 13: World Day for Natural Disaster Reduction
  • OCTOBER 16: World Food Day
  • OCTOBER 31: Halloween

NOVEMBER

For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad.”

~ Edwin Way Teale

*FULL MOON: “BEAVER MOON”
*FLOWER: CHRYSANTHEMUM
*TREE: CHESTNUT, ASH, WALNUT
*COLOR: YELLOW, RED, BLUE
*BIRTHSTONE: TOPAZ & CITRINE
*ANIMAL TOTEMS: SNAKE, OWL & WOLF, HAWK
*ASTROLOGICAL ZODIAC SIGNS:
-SCORPIO: (October 23 – November 21) PLANET: Mars
-SAGITTARIUS: (November 22 – December 21) PLANET: Jupiter

HOME & GARDEN CHECKLIST:

  1. Good month for planting and transplanting trees, shrubs, perennials.
  2. Winterize garden beds by adding a 3” – 4” layer of mulch to help protect plant roots and provide for better drainage. Wood chips and straw, etc. can also be used, especially for more delicate plants.
  3. Stake or otherwise secure vulnerable trees and other plants for the coming Winter weather.
  4. As the thermostat starts to go up more, keep an eye on indoor plants and begin to adjust watering accordingly.
  5. Clear all gutters and drains ahead of the coming rain and snow.
  6. Put away hoses and install insulated covers on all outdoor faucets.
  7. Keep bird feeders and baths filled.
  8. Apply dormant spray to flowering trees, fruit trees, deciduous plants *(see recipe below).

*D.I.Y. DORMANT SPRAY RECIPE:

  • 1 gal. of water
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp. baking soda
  • Tbsp. castile soap

HOLIDAYS & OBSERVANCES

  • NOVEMBER 1: World Vegan Day
  • NOVEMBER 7: Daylight Saving Time ends
  • NOVEMBER 10: National Forget-Me-Not Day
  • NOVEMBER 17: National Hiking Day
  • NOVEMBER (mid month): 1st Frost Date (average for Pacific NW)
  • NOVEMBER 25: Thanksgiving Day

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