If you're lucky and the summer season is slow in ending, SEPTEMBER will find you still enjoying your garden (Sure, you'll probably still be weeding and watching out for garden pests, but that's not a huge price to pay for a lovely garden, now is it?)
But, as September wanes and the first chill winds of Autumn make you shiver, and OCTOBER starts to make its colorful entrance, you'll start thinking about bringing some of your lovely potted plants indoors, and....
Stop. Right. There.
Gardening friends, you do NOT want to move those plants inside without a little precautionary work. You don't really want to let any "extras" - like spider mites and insect eggs - move in, too, do you?
If you really want to do it right, thoroughly clean the pots and saucers for each plant, and we do mean "thoroughly." Disinfecting them with a 10% bleach water will also get rid of many disease organisms. Soak saucers for 15 minutes and rinse well.
Just before moving your plants indoors, or at the first sign of spider mites or whiteflies, spray with Hot Pepper Wax insect repellent. (How do you know if your plants have spider mites? Look for thin webs. Whiteflies are easier to spot; brush against the plant and you will probably see them fly.)
Okay. You're almost ready for the move indoors. Now you need to help your plants adjust to a new life that won't be as sun-filled. If possible, put them in a shadier area outdoors so they can adjust in stages. However, if you don't have time for a slow adjustment, place them in the brightest light possible indoors to reduce the "stress" (yes; plants feel stress, too) of moving.
Don't over-water while they're adjusting; your plants may actually need less water than when they were outside. And don't worry (and don't water!) if the lower leaves turn yellow and drop at first. That just means they haven't yet adjusted to the lower light levels.
And, since spider mites and whiteflies can still find their way indoors.... Remember that Hot Pepper Wax insect repellent can be used indoors, too, and spray your plants with a little protection!
So.... That will get your plants through cold weather. What about your plans to survive Winter without a garden?
Check back with us a little after Thanksgiving for our holiday greenery tips and a few ideas to get gardeners through the winter months!