The weather can vary somewhat this month, but no matter what the weather, the one thing we love to do is to be in the garden in September. Whether it’s weeding, dead-heading or planning any changes to the garden for next year, there is nothing more rewarding than taking in all your hard gardening work from earlier in the year. You will start to notice that the days are noticeably shorter and the nice warm temperatures of August are beginning to become a little chillier. But, don’t go packing away your gardening tools, mower and gloves just yet…
There are still plenty of jobs to do in your garden this month! So, if you want to get them in before the clocks change in October then, read on to find out the key things to do in your garden in September…
Top tips for what to do in your garden in September
– You’ll notice that the crop from your runner beans, peas, cucumbers and courgettes will start to slow significantly this month. But it’s not all bad news as you’ll have sweetcorn, pumpkins and marrows ready to harvest. If you want to store these for a while, they’ll need to develop a tougher skin, so once you’ve harvested them leave them out in a dry, sunny spot for 10 days and then pop them into storage.
– There will be lots of fruit picking to do too! Your autumn fruiting raspberries will be ready to eat – make sure you leave them until they have reached their full colour. Early apples will also be ready, as well as pears, plums and damsons. And, head out with the family to go blackberry picking – it’s the perfect time to go and just think of the jam you can make!
– If you love to grow salad all year round, then now is the time to sow some winter salads. Rocket, winter lettuces, spinach and chicory can all grow throughout the winter. Once they’re sown, put them in a large pot, sheltered place, or greenhouse.
– Weeding galore… We’re sorry to say that September is not different to most other months when it comes to weeding, as there is a lot to get on with still! So, as always, try to do little and often, to avoid the weeds really taking hold.
– Vine weevil damage a wide range of plants, especially in containers. The creamy white legless grubs with brown heads live in the compost, feeding on roots during autumn and winter and do the most damage, causing plants to wilt or even die. So use a biological control nematode this month, when the soil temperature is warm enough for it to be effective. Nematodes work best in potting composts but not in open ground and are safe for edible and ornamental plants. Alternatively, use a proprietary liquid insecticide drench to compost in pots giving protection for up to four months. They cannot be used on edible plants or ornamentals in the ground.
– When the weather is fine keep on top of your lawn mowing – before you know it, October and the wetter weather will set in and you won’t be able to give it a proper mow before winter.
– Keep on top of your dead-heading particularly on roses, perennials and annuals. Here in the UK, we often get a milder autumn which means that you can enjoy blooms for a longer period.
– As the soil is still warm, it’s a great time to plant new perennials. You can also plant out any spring flowering bulbs like crocus, daffodils and hyacinths. And fill the gaps in any borders with autumn flowering plants like chrysanthemum – they’ll bring plenty of colour until the end of the season.
– Do you have a garden pond? Place a net over it now to avoid any leaf fall as autumn comes into full swing. Trust us, you’ll be thankful! And, as leaves do start to fall rake them u[ to make leaf-mould.
– Order your bare root roses, shrubs, fruit trees and hedging to plant over the coming months. A big order now will get you ahead of the game!
A gardening idea for this month…
Propagate fuchsias, osteospermums, petunias, penstemons, pelargoniums, tender salvias and argyranthemums (marguerites), in case the parent plant fails to overwinter.
1. Choose healthy non- flowering shoots to ensure cuttings quickly form roots.
2. Remove the lower leaves and trim stem just below where a pair of leaves joined the stem using a sharp knife.
3. Place 7.5cm (3in) cuttings around the edge of a pot filled with gritty seed and cuttings compost.
4. Place in a propagator or plastic bag and place in cool greenhouse or windowsill. Pot on when rooted, cuttings need light and good air circulation. Harden off before planting out in spring.