September in the Garden
Along the Mid-Atlantic in late summer and fall, fields and roadsides are aglow with the blossoms of Solidago Compositae, commonly known as Goldenrod. Long associated with wound healing, the name is derived from solida, Latin for "whole" and ago, "to make".
Gardeners with brown thumbs and an aversion to compost will appreciate the fact that Goldenrod actually flourishes in poor soil and is not bothered by pests. if you are thinking: "Why would I want to grow what is considered a weed in my garden?" please take note, especially those of you who admire English gardens - the British utilize several named varieties in their colorful perennial borders.
This actually lovely plant has long been associated with curing a long list of ailments with European Goldenrod holding the title for the longest. S virgaurea is said to help arthritis, chronic eczema, kidney imflamations, and periodontal disease. The Chinese use it to treat headaches, flu, sore throats, measles and malaria.
Personally, my reason for adding this "weed" to my flower border is because Goldenrod is a favorite of moths, bees and butterflies.
Finally: Looking for buried treasure or an underground spring? Follow the Goldenrod plants...
Try it. You'll like it!
What To Do In The Garden This Month
- Dig cannas after frost has killed the foliage. Dry the tubers and store in a box of sawdust or dry peatmoss in a cool, frost-free area.
- For long-lasting fall arrangements, cut flowers such as Queen Anne's Lace, Goldenrod, Black-Eyed Susan and New England Asters during the late afternoon or evening when they are at their best. Choose flowers that are half open and with buds showing color. Make a long slanting cut just above a leaf node and try to place in warm water as soon as possible and keep out of direct sunlight.
- Purchase spring-flowering bulbs and plant up until frost.
- Divide and transplant iris, daylily, lirope, hosta and other hardy perennials.
- Onions are ready to harvest when the tops have yellowed and toppled over. Allow them to "paper over" meaning to dry so the outside skin forms a protective layer. Braid tops together and hang in dry place.
- Harvest green tomatoes before the first hard frost. Remove stems and wash and dry. Store in dry hay or shredded newspaper. will keep in basement up to 1 1/2 months.
- If you have window with a southern exposure, dig up your tender herbs, pot them and see how they do inside. You never know until you try. While you are at it, experiment with a tomato plant. You can even grow lettuce on a sunny window sill if you harvest the outside leaves regularly.
- Cut off tops of turnips, carrots, radishes and kohlrabi, do not wash, and store between layers of moist sand in a barrel or in the root cellar.
- Turn the compost pile.
- Pick gourds for fall decorations before frost and dry indoors.
- Divide and plant bleeding hearts.
- Collect rose hips to use in potpourri
- Happy gardening!