Your Garden in September
YOUR GARDEN IN SEPTEMBER
With summer coming to an end and autumn setting in, it's time to say goodbye to long, sunny days and say hello to cooler, fresher starts. September is all about preparation and this usually fairly mild month is the perfect time for getting those jobs done (although we can't promise that it won't rain!). Yet, with the days beginning to get noticeably shorter, there is certainly no time to waste.
Early autumn is an ideal time to plant trees and shrubs as, after the summer months, the ground will still be warm for some time yet. With the addition of moisture, this makes autumn one of the best planting seasons, as the roots of plants put in now will have time to establish in their new home before the winter arrives. This places them in a good stead to survive the months ahead, giving them a better platform to perform well next spring.
As for perennials that have already done their thing, early autumn is a good time to cut them back and move or divide them, as they will also benefit from getting settled in now before it gets colder.
Talking of perennials, there is still plenty of colour to be found in the garden at this time of year. Crocosmia, Echinacea, Rudbeckia, and Sedums are just a handful that really catch the eye. These plants look great teamed with grasses such as Stipa tenuissima, and Anemanthele lessoniana, giving that prairie garden look to your borders. Perfect!
This leads me on to my feature plant of the month, and also one of my favourites, Anemone 'Honorine Jobert'. This beautiful Japanese Anemone bears white, single flowers that are tinged with pink on the underside of the petals. It's perfect for brightening up a shady corner in a large container, and also makes a pretty autumn focal point in those herbaceous borders.
September is also the best time to scarify a lawn, due to the weather being slightly milder and the ground having enough moisture. Use an autumn lawn fertiliser after scarification, as this will typically release its nutrients at a much lower rate, which will encourage longer term health and growth during the colder months.
And last but by no means least, don't forget to plant your spring bulbs! Drifts of single species can be planted to blend with the planting scheme of your garden, or try mixing different varieties to create a striking effect of bright colour.
Bulbs are also ideal for brightening up the base of trees, naturalising in lawns and planting in pots for your patio or doorstep. In short, no garden should be without a display of lovely spring bulbs.
SEPTEMBER ON THE VEG PLOT
Over wintering onion sets will be available now. Prepare an area in a sunny well drained position, adding fish blood and bone fertiliser to the soil. Don't just push the set into the ground, treat it gently so as not to damage the root base.
Make a shallow drill and place the sets in, pointy end up, 15cm apart in rows which are 30cm apart. Just cover the set with soil, leaving the tip showing. Watch out for birds pulling the sets out of the ground; it can be helpful to cover the area with fleece to prevent this. Keep the bed weed free. Onions are ready to harvest early next summer.
Now is a great time to plant a fruit tree. New stock and varieties will have come from the nurseries and are ready for planting out in the warm soil to get going before winter arrives. There are fruit trees to suit all gardens. You can even get trees perfect for growing in a pot on the patio.
Sow winter hardy lettuce and spring onions ready for a spring harvest.
Keep tidying your plot and compost all your waste.