Seasonal Advice for September: Recipes, Gardening, Folklore

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Here are holidays, facts, and folklore for the month of September.

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 5th. Canadians also observe Labour Day.

Hear ye! Hear ye! The 2017 Old Farmer’s Almanac is now on sale! Get your copy of the 2017 edition here!

Patriot Day is observed in the United States on September 11, or 9/11.

Did you know that Grandparents Day is celebrated on Sunday, September 11 this year? Honor your grandparents today—and every day!

Get ready for fall! The Autumnal Equinox falls on September 22, 2016 at 10:21 A.M. EDT. At this time, there are approximately equal hours of daylight and darkness. See your day length.

The month wraps up with Michaelmas, on September 29; this is an ancient Celtic “Quarter Day” which marked the end of the harvesting season and was steeped in folklore.

Recipes for the Season

We like to think of September as the month of homegrown apples. Here are a few recipes for this fruit of the season:
Apple Pie
Apple Waffles with Apple Cider Syrup
Baked Apples Filled with Sausage

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 the seeds.

If you’re running out of ideas on where to store your crops, try using a root cellar.

See more gardening jobs for September.

Everyday Advice

If you’re planning on baking some apple pies, try consulting our chart of the best apples for baking to help you.

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.



The Full Harvest Moon in September falls on the 16th at 3:05 P.M. EDTGet the details.

What makes the Harvest Moon different? Find out here.

Check out our Sky Watch for the month’s best night sky events.

Folklore for the Season

  • Heavy September rains bring drought.
  • 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.

Birth Flowers and Birthstone

aster-september-birth-flower_full_width.jpgSeptember’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. Find out more about September’s birthstone.

Reader Comments

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I live in Southern Vermont.

I live in Southern Vermont. One of the most popular times of the year is Autumn foliage. Is there a prediction of when "peak foliage" will be this year?

Hi Carey, Here's a good

Hi Carey, Here's a good reference to see peak foliage in New England:

Live in zip code 41139. What

Live in zip code 41139. What days in Sept & Oct will be best to put on new roof? Thanks

I live in North Texas. Trying

I live in North Texas. Trying to find the best time to plant Winter Rye grass. Any Help?

Does it mean something when

Does it mean something when we an abundance of crickets? We have hundreds if not thousands of crickets everywhere! This is in w. Ks.

Just wanted to say hello to

Just wanted to say hello to all and that I'm sure it will be informative and fun to be a part of this site. Already learned what I needed to know about black eyed susans before I signed up! Happy Autumn to come! God bless

Which days are best for

Which days are best for fertility?

The best days are when the

The best days are when the moon is in Scorpio. This information is not on our Web site. If interested, you can find next year's Moon Sign Calendar in The 2015 Old Farmer's Almanac here: 
Or, we also sell just the digital chart for a small fee here:
Thank you!

I live in New England, and I

I live in New England, and I am wondering at what time should I cut back and cover rose bushes for the fall and winter.

We do not prune roses in the

We do not prune roses in the fall. Simply cut off diseased or dead canes. See the rest of our advice on the "Roses" page under "Winterizing Roses" here:

Hi there. First time trying

Hi there.
First time trying to a) turn down a garden in the winter and b) keeping some plants over the winter.

How do I do either in the New England area?

I'm hoping to plant potatoes over the winter (those I'll put in soon), and keeping my perennial vegetables (Kale, Swiss chard, and garlic) over the winter.

Any suggestions are welcome and greatly appreciated!

Here is an article, "Putting

Here is an article, "Putting the Garden to Bed," which you might find useful:
You may also enjoy this video on planting vegetables in autumn for all and winter harvest:
We also have growing guides for common vegetables including Kale:
and Garlic:
Hope this points you in the right direction. There is a lot on this Web site!

I live in the Phoenix, AZ

I live in the Phoenix, AZ area. What can I plant in the fall season? Are there certain dates that are better to plant root crops?

In Phoenix, good fall crops

In Phoenix, good fall crops to plant from now through early November include cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, chard, cucumber, kale, lettuce, onion (bulb and green) and radish. Contact your University of Arizona Cooperative Extension for more local detail; they often sponsor plant sales, too!

First time to your site. I

First time to your site. I need to know what tie sunset will be in Burlington, VT, on Friday, Friday, Sept. 28th. Thank you.

Welcome! Please refer to our

Welcome! Please refer to our Sunrise/Sunset tool here:

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