Monthly Archives: September 2017


September Garden Tips

Hello Friends, Neighbors, Fellow Gardeners,

It’s September, time to enjoy the fall harvest of apples, pumpkins, and more!  Here are some garden tips, educational opportunities, and events for September. Events include Brookside Garden’s Wings of Fancy,  Friends of Brookside Gardens Plant Sale,  Fall Lawn Care Workshop, A Forest Journey, Hispanic Heritage Month, Nature Matters Lecture Series, PawPaw Festival, Children’s Day Honey Harvest Festival, Monarch Fiesta Day, Apple Festival and Campfire,  Mill Creek Towne Garden Club’s Meeting Topic: Preparing Your Gardens for Winter, and more!


  • Keep an eye out for the first frost date. In Zone 6, it is predicted to be between September 30 and October 30.
  • It is harvest time and also a good time to start taking stock of what worked well for you this season and what didn’t.
  • Take garden photos and make notes in your garden journal.garden_plan
  • Begin planning for fall plantings.
  • Start collecting plant seeds for next year and for trading.
  • Order spring-flowering bulbs to arrive for planting this fall.
  • Order garlic, onions, and shallots for fall planting.
  • Check your local garden center for end-of-summer bargains.
  • Attend a local garden club meeting or plant exchange.
  • Support our local farmers! Visit a local farmers’ market near you. Download Montgomery County’s Office of Agriculture Farmer’s Market Flyer to find a farmer’s market near you.
  • Go on a local house or garden tour to see what plants are thriving in other’s area home gardens:

Flowers and Groundcovers:

  • Begin replanting pots with hardy annuals.
  • Plant newly purchased plants.
  • Continue to deadhead spent flowers.
  • Divide and transplant peony and iris perennials.
  • Divide ornamental mums
  • Take cuttings from coleus and begonias to propagate and over-winter indoors.
  • Your summer annuals will be reviving, now with cooler temperatures and some rain. Cut back any ragged growth and give them some fertilizer. They should put on a good show until the first hard frost.
  • Remove spent annuals, replacing with hardy mums and fall season annuals. Water deeply.
  • Dig up bulbs from your Gladiolus, Canna, Caladiums, and other tender bulbs. Cut off foliage; let dry for a week; and store for winter.
  • Cut fully yellow lily stalks.
  • Start bulb plantings of early spring bloomers at the end of the month.
  • Fertilize established bulb beds.
  • Start seeds of pansies, calendula, flowering cabbage, kale, and other fall annuals.
  • Pests to watch for: aphids, spidermites, whiteflies
  • Diseases to watch for:  Blackspot on roses; powdery mildew, rust, bacterial diseases, fungal leaf spot.
  • See UMD’s HGIC’s September Flower tips for more details.

Trees and Shrubs:

  • Fertilize if necessary for last time.
  • Avoid late summer pruning.
  • Transplant trees and shrubs.

    poison ivy
    Poison Ivy
  • Plant evergreens for winter interest.
  • Look out for any Poison Ivy vines, which will turn crimson in the fall and be easy to distinguish from other vines.
  • Remove fallen, diseased leaves.
  • Prune foundation shrubs and trees to be no closer than 1 foot from the house.
  • If your conifers start shedding their needles or your spring bulb foliage starts peeking out of the ground, don’t worry. This is normal for our autumn cycle.
  • Prune evergreens to get in shape for fall/winter.
  • Prune and thin shrubs that have already flowered.
  • Water newly planted trees and shrubs weekly or as needed.
  • Pests to watch for:  adelgids, aphids, bagworms, borers, caterpillars, leafminers, scale, sawfly, spidermites, and webworms.
  • Diseases to watch for: powdery mildew
  • See HGIC’s September Trees and Shrubs Tips for more details.

Herbs, Veggies, and Fruit:

  • The first week in September is the last week recommended to plant lettuce in an open garden.
  • The third week in September is the last week to plant radishes in an open garden.
  • Pick apples at a local pick-your-own farm or visit a farmer’s market.
  • Continue planting cool-season vegetables; plant garlic now through the end of October.Vole
  • Plant strawberries in a site with good drainage for harvest next spring.
  • This is a good time to have your vegetable garden and landscape soils tested.
  • Harvest leaves of herbs used in cooking (rosemary, basil, sage) in the early morning for best flavor.
  • At the end of the month, begin planting cool-season vegetables  (turnips, carrots, beets, spinach, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower, kale, Brussel sprouts).
  • Plant cover crops in vegetable gardens and annual beds (e.g., rye, clover, hairy vetch, and winter peas)
  • Watch your pumpkins and squash. Harvest them when their rinds are dull and hard.
  • Preserve gourds and dry flowers for display in the fall.
  • Watch for insect and disease problems throughout your garden.
  • Look out for slug eggs grouped under sticks and stones. They are the size of BBs and pale in color.
  • Pests to watch for: asparagus beetle, aphids, cabbage worms, corn earworm, cutworms, and tomato hornworm
  • Diseases to watch for: Fungal, bacterial, viral diseases
  • Here are some more fruit and vegetable gardening tips for August from UMD’s HGIC.


  • This is the perfect time for seeding the lawn.
  • Apply fertilizer and lime to turfgrass based on soil tests and UME recommendations.
  • Plug aerate when soil is moist.
  • Begin mowing leaves into turf to add organic matter and nutrients.grass
  • Fertilize tall fescue and bluegrass with 1 lb. Nitrogen per 1000 square feet.
  • Cool season lawns go dormant in hot, dry weather. Do Not Water.
  • Some grasses can still be planted. Over seeding may be done now through October.
  • Keep newly seeded lawns well watered!
  • Water established lawns deeply but infrequently.
  • Apply pre-emergent weed control such as corn gluten.
  • Apply grub control to your lawn.
  • Turn your compost pile weekly and don’t let it dry out. Work compost into your planting beds.
  • Diseases to watch for: brown patch, and red thread
  • Pests to watch for: Grubs
  • See HGIC’s September Lawn Tips for more details.


  • Bring in tender plants before night temperatures dip to 60 degrees.
  • Bring in house plants if you took them out for the summer.
  • Take cuttings of plants you want to overwinter inside and place in water.
  • Prune potted bougainvillea or hanging baskets that will overwinter inside.
  • Bring Amaryllis indoors before a hard freeze. Repot every other year at this time.amaryllis
  • Bring Christmas cactus and poinsettias indoors if you took them out for the summer in preparation for holiday blooming. Fertilize them and put them where they’ll get just 10 hours of bright light per day.
  • Remove old leaves, damaged stems.
  • Monitor houseplants that are outside for insect problems.
  • Fertilize houseplants now that they are actively growing again.
  • Repot root-bound houseplants and start fertilizing them.
  • Pests to watch for:  aphids, mealybugspider mites,  whitefly and scale.
  • See HGIC’s September Houseplants Tips for more tips.

Indoor/Outdoor Insect and Wildlife Tips:

  • Start feeding birds to get them in the habit for the winter.birdbath
  • Change the water of your birdbath daily and throw a Mosquito Dunk (or bits) into any standing water.
  • Clean your hummingbird feeders and add new sugar-water every three days.
  • Check for mosquito breeding grounds. Dump out any water that sits stagnant for more than three days.
  • Switch your deer deterrent spray.
  • See HGIC’s September Insect Tips for more details.
  • Watch for: carpenter ants, flies, stink bugs, termites, rabbits, raccoons, groundhogs, deer, moles, snakes, squirrels, and voles.
  • For more information on wildlife management and attracting wildlife see HGIC’s September Wildlife tips.

Source: University of Maryland’s Home and Garden Information Center (HGIC) and the Washington Gardener.

Please Support the Mill Creek Towne Garden Club

Hello Friends, Neighbors,

Please support the Mill Creek Towne Garden Club! Your donations will help us continue to provide garden-related programs to the community and pay for maintaining and landscaping the Mill Creek Towne main entrances. donate-today-button

We accept donations throughout the year. Thanks to all of you that have recently donated as well as those of you who have supported us in the past years! Thanks for your continued support of the Mill Creek Towne Garden Club and our community programs!

Mill Creek Towne Garden Club – Derwood, Maryland | | Like us on Facebook


See below for upcoming local events in September.


Montgomery Parks Special Events & Festivals

More events are being added regularly. Please check back often!

Save the dates for these upcoming events!   Events include Brookside Garden’s Wings of Fancy,  Friends of Brookside Gardens Plant Sale,  Fall Lawn Care Workshop, A Forest Journey, Hispanic Heritage Month, Nature Matters Lecture Series, PawPaw Festival, Children’s Day Honey Harvest Festival, Monarch Fiesta Day, Apple Festival and Campfire,  Mill Creek Towne Garden Club’s Meeting Topic: Preparing Your Gardens for Winter, and more!

Master Gardener Plant Clinics

Varied Locations, dates, and times

What can Master Gardeners do for you?Montgomery County Master Gardeners logo

  • Help you select and care for annual and perennial plants, shrubs and trees.
  • Determine if you need to test your soil.
  • Provide you with information on lawn care.
  • Identify weeds, beneficial and noxious insects, and plant diseases and remedies.
  • Teach you how to use pesticides, mulch and compost.
  • Guide you in pruning trees and shrubs.
  • Provide you with options for managing wildlife.
  • Provide you with gardening resources.
  • Help you submit a plant sample for diagnosis

Plant Clinics are held at several sites in the county on a weekly basis and at special events such as garden festivals and the county fair. Regularly scheduled Plant Clinics are located at public libraries and farmers’ markets throughout the county as well as at the Audubon Naturalist Society in Chevy Chase.  There are also clinics three days per week at Brookside Gardens.  The busiest season is April through September, but some clinics are open year-round.  Bring your plant samples and questions to one of these locations in Montgomery County, MD (see link below to find a location near you):

Wings of Fancy

Wednesday, April 26 to Sunday, September 17 | 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily
Brookside Gardens South Conservatory, Wheaton
$8 ages 13+; $5 ages 3-12; Free ages 0-2butterfly-wof-right

The seasonal display features hundreds of live butterflies from all over the world. Families, students, nature lovers, and everyone in between can get an up close experience of these brilliant butterflies from North America, Costa Rica, Africa and Asia as they soar among colorful flowers. Visitors can learn about their amazing metamorphosis, the important role butterflies play in having healthy ecosystems, and how to ensure these beautiful insects thrive in our own gardens.

More Info

Fall Lawn Care and Lawn Renovation Workshop

Saturday, September 9, 2017Fall_Lawncare_workshop-Arboretum-DC

10:00 am – 12:00 pm

U.S. National Arboretum
3501 New York Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002

Metro Stop: Stadium Armory Station on the Blue and Orange lines

Fall Lawn Care and Lawn Renovation Workshop with turf specialist Geoff Rinehart of the Grass Roots Initiative at the National Arboretum, Saturday, September 9, 2017, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. This informal indoor and outdoor learning activity is focused on the simple and correct lawn care practices will make your lawn look better with less work and expense. Registration is free, but space is limited and registration is encouraged. Call 202-245-5965 or e-mail Geoffrey Rinehart at to register.

Friends of Brookside Gardens Plant Sale

Saturday, Sept. 9th FOBG_Annual_Plant_Sale_Sep2017
10 am – 3 pm, and
(members-only early hours, Saturday, 8 am – 10 am).
Sun., Sept. 10, 9 am – 12 pm. 

10% discount for FOBG members – you can join at the sale. Plant list here:


A Forest Journey

September 8 – January 2018 | 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tues. through Saturday | 1-5 p.m. Sundays
Brookside Nature Center, Wheatonbrookside_nature_center_entrance

This rich and inviting interactive exhibit, created by the Franklin Institute, is inspired by the Harvard classic A Forest Journey: The Role of Wood in the Development of Civilization by science writer John Perlin. It sheds new light on the history of the use of wood throughout the world, on forest products (from paper to lifesaving pharmaceuticals) and on the relationship between forests and the benefits of trees.

Brookside Nature Center

Mill Creek Towne Garden Club’s Meeting Topic: Preparing Your Gardens for Winter

Tuesday, September 26, 2017planting_bulbs

Time: 7:30pm

Mill Creek Towne Elementary School
Teacher’s Lounge
17700 Park Mill Dr.
Derwood, MD 20855

Hi Fellow Gardeners and Neighbors!

In September, join us to hear Master Gardener, Bonita Condon talk about “Preparing Your Gardens for Winter” and learn some tips on how to get your garden ready for winter.

About Bonita Condon

Bonita became a Master Gardener in 2014 after retiring from the National Institutes of Health. She is an avid vegetable gardener, love perennials, and combats nonnative invasive species in our parks and grasslands. Her special interests include working with individuals with mobility limitations, raised garden beds, and tools that accommodate special needs. She is a certified Weed Warrior, and an advisor on the Town of Kensington GreenScape committee.