September

Jobs in the garden in September include:

  • If you haven’t already done so a job to be finished this month is the cutting of deciduous hedges such as beech and hornbeam.
  • Start thinking about ordering bulbs. Daffodils and also Alliums can benefit from being planted in September.
  • Organise your compost area, clearing bins ready for the autumn influx of greenery.
  • Keep deadheading – to keep plants such as repeat flowering roses and late summer perennials flowering longer and to provide more colour in the garden.
  • Keep weeding. Annual weeds such as chickweed and hairy bitter cress will carry on flowering and setting seed if the weather is mild. Also check borders for seedlings of plants such as hardy geraniums and foxgloves and remove them if you do not need them or move them elsewhere in the garden.
  • If you are tidying herbaceous borders then now is the time to lift and divide big clumps of perennial plants that flowered earlier in the year. Get rid of old congested growth from the centre of the plant and use newer growth from the edges to form new plants, replanting in groups of 3 or more for greater impact in the border.
  • Trim back any shrubs that have grown over walkways and to avoid future problems, cut back shoots of climbers that are heading for gutters.
  • In the vegetable garden, it should be time to harvest main crop potatoes. Best to do this on warm and sunny days and the potatoes left to dry in the sun before being stored in paper sacks and kept in a dark and frost free place.
  • It is not too late to plant out young broccoli plants (remember that like all brassicas they will need netting to protect them from wood pigeons over the winter). Garlic and autumn onion setts can also be planted this month.
  • Autumn raspberries should be fruiting this month but it is time to tidy up the canes of the earlier summer fruiting type. Cut off canes that have fruited and tie in new shoots that will bear the fruit next year. Strawberries can also be tidied up now. The foliage should be cut off about 1” from the ground with weeds that might have got into the ‘patch’ removed. Any runners can be planted up to replace older plants – that are best replaced after 3 years.
  • And if you have cleared areas in the vegetable garden, consider sowing a crop of green manure. Those that can be sown now include forage pea and field bean. Grown over winter they will not only cover the ground reducing weed growth and hold onto soil fertility that would otherwise be washed away by winter rains but they will also help to increase fertility of the soil for next season by fixing nitrogen from the air into the soil.
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