Lawn and Garden Tips and Tricks for September

Every month, we will highlight a few timely, key tips for Maryland homeowners’ lawns and gardens.


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. For the best results, work in ample amounts of organic matter. Use leaf gro, thoroughly composted horse or cow manure or peat moss. See our page on lawn renovation and overseeding.

  • The dormancy (browning) of cool season grasses is a natural response that helps turfgrass survive drought and heat. Grasses that go dormant will usually green-up and grow vigorously again in the fall. If you have areas in your lawn that haven’t greened up yet you should consider reseeding them now.

Insects and Pests:

  • Over the summer, indian meal moth (pictured) 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.
  • Ticks will continue to be active throughout the fall and winter. Deer tick populations are especially high around the Chesapeake Bay. Be sure to check yourself and loved ones after working in the yard or hiking in natural areas.


  • Plant cool season vegetable crops now that will mature into the later fall months. These include Chinese cabbage, turnips, kale, mustard, spinach, arugula, and lettuce. When planting fall vegetables, be aware that more time will be required to bring the crop to maturity because of reduced light and air temperature. Add at least 2 weeks to the “days to maturity” number on your seed packets.
  • Plant garlic now through the end of October for a July 4 harvest next year. Plant the cloves root end down; space them 4-6 inches apart and cover with 1-2 inches of soil. Mulch the garlic bed with fallen tree leaves after the green leaves emerge. Do not use garlic from grocery stores  for planting because of the significant risk of introducing diseases such as white rot.

Take a look at more monthly tips on the HGIC website.

3 thoughts on “Lawn and Garden Tips and Tricks for September

  1. Gert September 7, 2017 / 11:00 pm

    I need help! I have seen mushrooms sprout up on the lawn now and then but not like this! A few months ago, I had a few large trees felled, one about 50″ diameter. Shortly, larger mushrooms sprouted near where the trees were cut. These were larger than the usual but the some beige color… only larger. I did not use hands but just used my feet to separate the roots from the “flower”s. These mushrooms died away. LATELY, on a different part of the property, , I began to notice mushrooms coming up…. all across the property .These new ones are enormous! Enormous meaning they are about the size of a dessert plate!!! They are all orange… like a pumpkin! They are hard to dislodge from the ground. The stems are tough! I will have to use a strong knife or shears. I can send photos of these things but I need to know how to get rid of the mushrooms. .why so different…. how they got all the way over there….. if they are poisonous…. etc. Please help. Tks


    • marylandgrows September 8, 2017 / 10:05 am

      There are many types of mushrooms that are associated with wood decay. Since you had a large tree taken out, this is likely why you are seeing these mushrooms coming up now. They will be found where there are old roots from the tree. Fungi/mushrooms are part of the natural decomposition process. Also, mushrooms often appear in lawns when we have had very wet weather. Take a look at our web page on wood rots and decay. These mushrooms are not edible. You can just leave them alone or cut them away and discard them.

      There is a type of fungus called the Jack O’Lantern mushroom, which is a bright orange color. If you would like to have us look at photos of what you have, please send them to our Ask an Expert service. You can attach up to three photos.


  2. joe Pacheco February 22, 2018 / 12:07 am

    Really interesting! Planting vegetables is a great idea!

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