The month of September has a little for everyone: the last days of summer and the first days of fall. This year, we highlight Patriot Day on September 11. Read on to learn more!
September, in Old England, was called Haervest-monath (Harvest Month). This is the time to gather up the rest of the harvest and prepare for the winter months.
There are flowers enough in the summertime,
More flowers than I can remember—
But none with the purple, gold, and red
That dyes the flowers of September!
—Mary Howitt (1799-1888)
September’s name comes from the Latin word septem, meaning “seven.” This had been the seventh month of the early Roman calendar, which is why its name means “seven.”
This year, Labor Day (the first Monday in September) falls on the 4th. Canadians also observe Labour Day.
Did you know that Grandparents Day is celebrated on Sunday, September 10 this year? Honor your grandparents today—and every day!
Focus on Patriot Day
By presidential proclamation, Patriot Day is observed in the United States on September 11, or 9/11, in memory of the thousands who lost their lives as a result of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the United States that involved four hijacked planes. The observance also honors those who came to aid in the aftermath. Each year on Patriot Day, the U.S. flag is flown at half-staff. Citizens are asked to observe a moment of silence, usually at 8:46 a.m. EDT (when the first hijacked plane struck the World Trade Center in New York City), and are encouraged to devote the day and year to serving their neighbors and communities.
Hear ye! Hear ye!
September 12 is Almanac Debut Day! The 2018 Old Farmer’s Almanac is now on sale! Get your copy of the 2018 edition here!
Get ready for fall! The Autumnal Equinox falls on September 22, 2017 at 4:02 P.M. EDT. At this time, there are approximately equal hours of daylight and darkness. See your local sunrise and sunset times.
The month wraps up with the start of Yom Kippur and Michaelmas on September 29. Michaelmas is an ancient Celtic “Quarter Day” which marked the end of the harvesting season and was steeped in folklore.
Recipes for the Season
Wondering which kind of apples to use in your dish? See Best Apples for Baking: Apple Pie, Applesauce, Cider & More to find out!
For more recipes, use our Recipe Search.
Correct any soil deficiencies you’ve noticed; healthy soil is crucial to healthy plants. See more on soil amendments and fixes.
Compost should be watered during dry periods so that it remains active. Learn more about composting.
Onions are nearly ripe when the tips of the leaves turn yellow. See our onion page for harvesting tips.
Sunflower seeds are best dried while still in the plant. See more about how to harvest sunflower seeds.
If you’re running out of ideas on where to store your crops, try using a root cellar.
If you’re planning on baking some apple pies, try consulting our Best Apples for Baking article.
Do you still have herbs left over? If so, use them to make your own herbal remedies.
Try this fun fall craft using apples: Apple Heads.
Help out the birds this coming winter by preparing some bird food for them.
September’s Full Moon, the Full Corn Moon, occurs on September 6 at 3:04 A.M. EDT.
Check out our Sky Watch for the month’s best night sky events.
Folklore for the Season
- Heavy September rains bring drought.
- September dries up ditches or breaks down bridges.
- September blow soft, till the fruit’s in the loft.
- Married in September’s golden glow, smooth and serene your life will go.
- If the storms of September clear off warm, the storms of the following winter will be warm.
- Fair on September 1st, fair for the month.
September Birth Flowers
September’s birth flowers are the aster and the morning glory. The aster signifies powerful love, and the China aster expresses variety or afterthought in the language of flowers. The morning glory symbolizes affection. It can also mean coquetry, affectation, or bonds in the language of flowers. Find out more about September’s birth flowers and the language of flowers.
The September birthstone is the sapphire, which was once thought to guard against evil and poisoning.
- Sapphire is a form of corundum that is typically blue, a color caused by tiny bits of iron and titanium; the vivid, medium blues are more valuable than lighter or darker forms. Due to various trace elements, sapphires also appear in other colors. Those with red colors are called rubies.
- Sapphires were thought to encourage divine wisdom and protection. They symbolized purity, truth, trust, and loyalty. Some believed that if they were placed in a jar with a snake, the snake would die.
- The sapphire, along with the related ruby, are the second-hardest natural gemstones, with only the diamond being harder.
Find out more about September’s birthstone.
This Month in History
September 12: Choices
On this day in 1962, President John F. Kennedy went to Rice University in Houston, Texas, to make a speech justifying his proposed $5.4 billion space program. He had called on Congress in the previous year to fund a massive project to put a man on the Moon and bring him home safely before the end of the decade. Toward that end, he asked his vice president, Lyndon Johnson, to make it happen. Johnson, a Texan, was happy to oblige.
The plan was to establish a Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, upon land that had been made available by Rice University (which had received it from Humble Oil and Refining Company). If that happened, federal money would flow to that city and to Rice, a university distinguished for its scholarship, if not for its football. In football, the University of Texas was king, although Rice gamely played Texas every year.
Kennedy challenged 35,000 listeners, sweltering in the Rice football stadium, to think big: “But why, some say, the Moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask, Why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic?” he asked. Then he added another impossible goal, one he had jotted in the margin only minutes earlier: “Why does Rice play Texas?”
The line drew a huge laugh and added a touch of humor and humility to the soaring rhetoric. His speech continued, soon issuing the now famous lines, “We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard … .”
Kennedy eventually got his moonshot, although he did not live to see Neil Armstrong’s 1969 moonwalk. And, three years after the speech, in 1965, Rice beat Texas. It would be 28 years before that happened again.