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IN THE GARDEN: September duties; picking apples for fall recipes

What are you making this fall in the kitchen? Pie? Cider? Applesauce? Find out which apples are best in each below.

Where in the world has the year gone? Our young helpers are back in school sharing how they got to help you in the garden over the summer.

There are plenty of things to do in September.

  1. It’s fall vegetable planting time. You can choose from a variety. Here are some delicious suggestions: Asian greens, beets, Chinese cabbage, carrots, chard, collards, corn, garlic, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard greens, peas, shallots, and turnips.
  2. Set out your vegetable plants such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, endive, lettuce, and mustard.
  3. Plant flower/ornamental seeds such as alyssum (Lobularia maritima), calendula (Calendula officinalis), cornflower (Centaurea cyanus), delphinium/larkspur (Delphinium) hollyhock (Alcea), Johnny jump-up (Viola tricolor), liatris/blazing star (Liatris spicata), love-in-a-mist (Nigella damascene), pansy (Viola tricolor var. hortensis), poppy (Papaver somniferum), snapdragon (Antirrhinum), stock and sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus).
  4. Do you still have the seeds that you gathered earlier this year? Begin to think and plan where you want to plant wildflowers. Remember when planning, if you are going to put out corn gluten, do NOT plan to plant wildflower seeds in that same location. Plant wildflower seeds late this month, October, and early November.
  5. Set out artichoke crown transplants.
  6. Divide perennials such as daylilies, bearded iris, Shasta daisies, violets, wood ferns, liriope and cannas. You can share with family, friends, and fellow gardeners. Before you divide your irises, cut the leaves at a slight diagonal about 6 inches off the ground. This will help them to be even healthier and more vibrant next flowering season. Give them a couple of days to get used to their new hairdo, then divide.
  7. Have you begun your compost pile?
  8. You knew we were going to say it: Prime time to check the mulch around your plants. We still have plenty of heat left on the ol’ calendar, and we need to protect our plants. Those of you who were blessed with rain, double check your mulch. The rains might have washed some of the mulch away or redistributed it.


According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the best apples for baking are Cortland, Fuji, Granny Smith, and Rome Beauty. The best apples for applesauce are Braeburn, Cortland, Jonagold, Jonathan, McIntosh, Newton Pippin, and Winesap. The best apples for cider are Gala, Newton Pippin, Rome Beauty and Winesap.


Whereas we adjust our thermostats to accommodate for our comfort in the changing seasons, birds fly from north to south and vice versa (and central to way south). Some birds such as purple martins, barn swallows, and golden-cheeked warblers start their trek as early as July.

Recently, you might have seen whooping cranes as they make their way to Rockport, Texas. They spend their summers breeding in Canada. Bald eagles come to overwinter in Texas, arriving September through October and staying often to July. While you’re harvesting your crops or planting your fall plots, look up. You’ll see an array of birds. Till next time, keep your souls and soles in your garden!

Remember the True Master Gardener: Jesus said, “I am the vine; my Father is the Gardener.” John 15:1

"In the Garden" is written by father-daughter duo Bill and Martelle Luedecke and Bill Luedecke. Contact Martelle at 512-769-3179 or Contact Bill at 512-577-1463 or

Find more "In the Garden" columns in the Lawn & Garden Guide.

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