Image: Kate Madden

 BOOST YOUR CROP

Summer vegetables like tomatoes, beans, summer squash, and cucumbers need one last jolt to keep producing before fall’s chill. Splash some fish fertilizer in a bucket, add water, and slosh onto your veggies and any annual flowers. You’ll see one last flush of growth. Water plants well before  fertilizing, so the fishy goodness soaks in. If your tomato vines are studded with green tomatoes, pick off any smaller fruits to help ripen those last precious few.

GRAB YOUR SHOVEL 

Late September often brings cooler temperatures, which means it’s time to plant (or transplant). When the first rains soften the ground, divide or move peonies, irises, and other early spring-blooming perennials. Plant just about anything except tender tropicals or borderline-hardy species.

GIVE SHELTER     

If your houseplants spent the summer outdoors, get them ready to bring indoors before the weather turns. True tropicals, like rubber trees and ficus, must come in before the slightest hint of cold, while certain orchids and Christmas cacti need a slight autumn chill in order to flower. 

 

For more gardening tips, visit Kate Bryant’s blog at portlandmonthlymag.com/plantwise.