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Gardening Tips for September

Thanks to Maryland Grows for letting me reprint these gardening tips by University of Maryland experts and master gardeners.

Image: Sansevieria trifasciata laurentii by University of Maryland


  • Before bringing houseplants back into the house: Check plants for antsearwigspillbugs, and other nuisance insects.  Wash off insect pests or apply a labeled houseplant insecticide to control any plant pests such as aphids, scales, spider mites, and mealybugs.
  • If the plants have outgrown their pots repot them into the next size pot or remove them, trim back the roots and repot in the same container. Use lightweight, well-drained soilless potting mixes. Contrary to old established practice, pebbles, stones, and shards from clay pots do not need to be added to the bottom of planting containers. This actually creates a higher water table and may reduce plant growth. When repotting, cut the root ball with a sharp knife at 2-4 inch intervals and remove brown, dead roots.


  • If needed, this is the ideal time to begin a total lawn renovation project. Total renovation is best if your lawn is always failing due to poor soil, has over 50% weeds or is mostly dead. See our lawn renovation publication,  (PDF) HG 102 Lawn Establishment, Renovation, and Overseeding.
  • Whether renovating or just over-seeding, the seedbed should be raked vigorously with a metal rake to loosen the soil and promote good seed to soil contact. If your entire lawn is compacted, machine aerating will help improve seeding, water, and fertilizer penetration. Watch our turf establishment video for more information.


  • Different nuisance pests, including centipedescrickets, and spiders are more noticeable inside the home with cooler fall temperatures. Sweep them up, but it is not necessary to treat with pesticides.
  • Over the summer, Indian meal moth may have been breeding in pantry products such as flour, cake mixes, cereals, bird seeds, dried pet food, etc. Remove the source of the infestation and clean all jars and containers that are affected. Do not use insecticides to control these pests.
  • Its early fall – prepare for the invasion of insects! Cricketsladybird beetlesboxelder bugsstink bugs, cluster flies, elm leaf beetles, and other innocuous insects will attempt to enter your home this fall for protection. Caulk, weatherstrip and seal up all cracks and entry points around your house foundation, vent openings, windows, and doorways to prevent these critters from coming indoors.

More tips from the Home & Garden Information Center

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