Chemainus Communities in Bloom members Trevor Prince and Diane Raphael putting their heads and hands together to work near the Henry Road roundabout earlier this month. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Seasonal gardening tips as we head toward the fall equinox

We Dig Chemainus September 2020

August was one for the record books. Hottest day! Coolest night! Best lightning show, ever! Best shooting star performance! A sturgeon moon second to none accompanied by Venus, shining ever brightly in the night sky! Rain! And, sadly, a high COVID-19 count!

Labour Day is Monday, Sept. 7, and the Autumn equinox, Tuesday, Sept. 22, and just for fun celebrate Cheese Pizza Day on the 5th and Grandparents Day on the 13th. Plant a tree to celebrate and remember the ‘less faces, more spaces’ slogan. We must try to keep those numbers down.

We Dig – Do It Now Tips

• Rake up leaves, twigs and fallen fruit from apple trees and dispose in the garbage to control apple scab disease and discourage bears and deer

• Continue to feed and water container plants to keep the blooms blooming. Stop fertilizing perennials

• Pick up large pots of ‘mums’ to replace summer colour

• Prune summer flowering heathers

• Prune climbing roses, wisteria and grapes

• Pull up tomato plants at the end of the month. Unripened fruit will ripen indoors

• Harvest potatoes when the tops die down

• Cut back dahlias, halfway, and water copiously for fall flowers

• Divide spring flowering perennials

• Pot up chives, parsley and other herbs to extend the growing season to the house

• Prune evergreens now or wait until April, minimize watering

• Bring house plants inside that have summered outdoors

• Apply lime to lawns before grass gets sour and moss sets in

• Plant spring bulbs as soon as the summer flowers are over – refresh soil

• Plant pansies, forget-me-nots and wallflowers over bulbs to flower with them in the spring

Did You Know …

… that the birth flowers of the month are the Aster – symbol of love; the Morning Glory, symbol of undying love and Forget-me-nots?

… September is a girl’s name?

… September means ‘seventh month’, as originally found in the ancient Roman calendar?

… butterflies taste with their feet?

… the caterpillar of the cabbage white butterfly is green because it makes it harder for the birds to see them on their green leaves?

… plants can drown if there is no air in the soil?

… the juice from bluebell flowers was used historically to make glue?

Pick of the Month – Autumn Joy (hylotelephium): a large Sedum, a.k.a., Stonecrop

A popular low maintenance plant, whose succulent leaves store water making it good for areas prone to drought. It is an important source of late-season food for pollinators. Well drained soil is a must. Cut blooms last for weeks in a vase.

AND … Eat, drink and be rosemary!

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Sharon Greer doing some serious weeding along with other Communities In Bloom members earlier this month. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Communities In Bloom member Laura Dussault hard at work earlier this month at the Henry Road roundabout. (Photo by Don Bodger)

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