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Charley's Greenhouse
17979 State Route 536
Mt. Vernon, WA 98273
Fax 360-873-8264

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September in Your Greenhouse

September in
Your Greenhouse
  By Carol Yaw

Fall is a wonderful season for growing in the greenhouse. With its more tempered climate - not too hot or cold - plants thrive. Also, there is still good natural lighting for continued growth. It is in autumn that the majority of my greenhouse plants are at their best - flourishing and in optimum health!

 I. Greenhouse Environment

  1. Keep your general temperature between 50° F and 70° F.
  2. As growth starts to slow down, water and feed less frequently.
  3. Decrease damping down and ventilation.
  4. Watch for fungal diseases, which can appear this month. Treat with a fungicide promptly.
  5. In most areas, by the end of this month you can remove shading, but continue to leave some form in part of the greenhouse for young seedlings, cuttings, shade-loving ferns, etc.
 II. Prepare for upcoming winter

Now is the time to -


A. Make repairs and replace:


B. Check that your heating system is working
     properly and vents are closing tightly.


To check the accuracy of your heater thermostat ... Monitor air temperature with a climate monitor that reports min./max. temperatures. Set the heater thermostat 10°F above the present temperature. When the heater shuts off, reset the min./max. thermometer. Let the system run for 30 minutes with several on/off cycles. Check the min./max. thermometer. Variation should be 2°F to 4°F. More than 6°F variation should be investigated and corrected.

C. Wash and tidy up your greenhouse.


Before moving plants inside for over-wintering, use a safe disinfectant such as Physan 20 to get rid of any lurking pests and disease hiding out under bench tops, on shelves, in soil, etc. hoping for a cozy winter retreat. Our Sprayer is perfect for getting to those hard to reach areas.

D. Repair, replace or add benches and shelving to
grow more over this fall and winter.


 III. Keep on Growing!
Propagate now for holidays and spring.
  • Sow seeds for next spring annuals such as Sweet Pea, pansy and other colors.
  • Take cuttings of geraniums, impatiens and other frost-sensitive perennials.
  • Take cuttings and propagate evergreens
  • Pot up bulb pans of flowering bulbs like Hyacinth and Narcissus and put them in a cold frame, garden shed, root cellar or other cool, dark space for winter forcing later.
  • Start to bring in frost-sensitive plants like Heliotrope, Canna, Fuchsias, banana, lemon and orange trees, etc.
 • Tomatoes -
  1. Continue to make sure soil doesn't dry out. Keep temperature below 80°F on hot days.
  2. Pick fruit daily. Remove leaves covering the ripening fruit.
  3. Remove old finished plants and dead leaf debris promptly to discourage disease, which can spread quickly this season.
 • Cucumbers -

Generally this is the last month to grow them. Continue to water and pick them regularly. Clear them out as they are finished producing.

 • Peas -
  Peas take up little space when trellised in the greenhouse and like the cooler climate of fall. For speed of maturity, flavor, and overall productivity, we like snow peas at our house.
 • Fruits -
  Pick mini melons and grapes. (Grapes generally need to be left on the vine 1-2 weeks up to 2 months after the fruit looks ripe, depending on the variety.)

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