Ahh, September. The kids are back in school, the leaves are beginning to fall, and the heat of summer begins to fade. Now you can get back outside and do some gardening.
If you haven't already done so, you should purchase your bulbs and begin planting them. Continue watering as needed and checking your garden for weeds. As the leaves begin to fall, cover your water gardens with netting.
Fall is the perfect time for spicing up your landscape with some creative decorations. From mums to pumpkins to ornamental gourds and more, adding pizazz to your garden in the fall could not be easier.
An all-around favorite for fall planting is the chrysanthemum. They come in nearly every color imaginable and are easy to care for. Mums need at least 5 hours of sunlight per day and benefit from regular fertilizing. Be sure to plant them in well-drained soil, as they do not like to sit in water.
Two more fall favorites are ornamental kale and flowering cabbage. They come in many different shades of green, purple and red, have interesting textured foliage and, like the chrysanthemum, are easy to care for. Plant them in a sunny area in well-drained soil and fertilize them with a balanced fertilizer. Water your cabbage and kale regularly to prevent the soil from drying out completely.
You can create a welcoming entrance to your home by creating a front door display with some fall flowering plants and pumpkins. Create a symmetrical look by adding plants or decorations of your choice to either side of your front door. If there are steps leading up to your front door, expand the creative look by lining an assortment of pumpkins and gourds up the steps.
Create an eye-catching look by planting a mix of flowering plants, ornamental kale and flowering cabbage around the base of your mailbox. Of course, pumpkins and gourds can be mixed in for added interest—do not be afraid to mix it up! Corn stalks can also be used to add height to the look.
If you have window boxes, do not neglect them this fall. By adding a mix of flowering plants like mums and some colorful kale or cabbage, you can create a bright display that will be the envy of the neighborhood. Do not forget to add some small pumpkins and gourds to the display.
Pumpkins and ornamental gourds can be hollowed out and filled with flowers to create a fun look both indoors and out. For outdoors, simply drill some drainage holes in the bottom of a hollow pumpkin, add your soil and plants, then water! For indoors, place an empty can inside a hollow pumpkin, then add cut flowers of your choice.
The "Thirty days hath September" poem is a great way to teach how many days are in each month of the year. Since it is very old there are a large number of variations that can be found with a simple search of the Internet. Here is one version we found:
Thirty days hath September, April, June and November; February has twenty eight alone, All the rest have thirty-one; Except in Leap Year, that's the time, When February's Days are twenty-nine.
The Family Scarecrow Project One fun family project for your fall landscape is a homemade scarecrow. While there is no wrong way to make your own scarecrow, here are some basic guidelines we came up with to get you started.
  • Cut a 10-foot wooden or bamboo stick or a PVC pipe into one 4 foot piece and one 6 foot piece.
  • Place the 4 foot piece across the 6 foot piece approximately 1 foot down from the top. Attach the two pieces with wire or twist ties.
  • Place an old shirt on the short piece of the frame, then stuff it with straw, wood chips or leaves. Chances are you can find the perfect clothes for your scarecrow at your local thrift store. Don't be afraid to make it as plain or as fashionable as you want! Place a pair of gloves on the end of the sleeves and secure them with rubber bands to create the illusion of hands.
  • Now it's time to add the pants. Pull one leg of the pants onto the pole while leaving the other hanging freely. Tuck the stuffed shirt into the top of the pants, then secure the waist of the pants to the pole with rope or a belt. Stuff the pants with the same material you used in the shirt. After you've found the perfect spot for your scarecrow, you can make it look like it is wearing shoes by placing a pair on the ground in front of each leg of the pants.
  • Next, you'll need to make the head of your scarecrow. Use an old pillowcase or burlap sack stuffed with the material of your choice. Tie the opening of the pillow case onto the top of the stake.
  • Finally, it's time to draw the face—you can make it as creative or as simple as you'd like! Draw the face with felt pens, use buttons for the eyes and nose, and even make a wig out of yarn.
Remember, there's no wrong way to build a scarecrow—just have fun with it!

September, The Beginning of Fall