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Gardening in September

Gardening in September


September, a lovely month for planting and planning

September already! With so much disruption to normal activity this year, we seem to have reached late summer very quickly indeed. The days are shortening and there's a definite 'end of season' feel to the garden, but it's an interesting month because we find ourselves both winding down and planning ahead.

Hopefully, you'll still have lots of lovely things in your garden right now, with late perennials like Aster, Sedum and Japanese Anemone putting on a show. As summer colours begin to fade, though, we naturally start looking ahead to next year. Towards the end of the month, there will be more perennials to cut back and you can take the opportunity to clear borders of any unwanted plants and weeds.

If your lavenders have flowered into September, prune them once the blooms have faded, cutting all the new growth down to a couple of centimetres above the older, woody part of the stem, leaving up to three leaf buds. This helps prevent the plant becoming too woody and instead keeps its shape neat and compact. Late flowering shrubs, such as Hibiscus and Lavatera, should also be pruned back to encourage fuller, healthy growth next spring.

With pruning done and borders cleared, you can dig in some compost, fertiliser or manure and you'll be ready to add something new. For some instant colour, you could choose something like Calluna vulgaris (the common heather). There's one collection of these plants which is a particular favourite of mine and that's the Garden Girl series. These pretty, low-growing shrubs are available in pinks, purples and whites, and will be covered in flowers until late November. Good for containers too.

Planning ahead, it's time to start planting spring bulbs to ensure lots of lovely colour in your garden next year. The first ones to get into the ground are the ever-popular crocus, hyacinths and daffodils, along with the more unusual fritillaries, to add a touch of the exotic to your spring display. Tulips can wait another month or so. It's a good idea to plant some bulbs in containers too, which can be placed near windows so the cheerful blooms can be seem from the house.

Elsewhere, keep deadheading and feeding summer containers, and keep Azaleas and Rhododendrons well-watered in dry weather as this helps encourage the buds to swell.

As the days shorten, try to water any greenhouse plants early in the morning, giving soil time to dry before the evening, and close any vents or doors in the late afternoon to trap as much heat as possible. Take some time towards the end of the month to clean out cold frames and greenhouses to prepare for autumn sowing, removing any shading too.

One thing we're guaranteed in the months ahead is that it will rain. I know I've said it before, but it bears repeating: if you haven't installed a water butt yet, please do. In fact, if you have room, install two!


Whether you have an allotment, a veggie patch in your garden or just a few containers for growing your own
A busy month with plenty to harvest on the plot and lots to preserve in the kitchen.

Garden centres should just have received new stock of this season's fruit trees. Your ground is still warm, so newly planted trees will get off to a great start before the cold weather arrives. Choose a sunny, well drained site for the fruit tree of your choice and you can look forward to growing apples, pears, plum and cherries. There are small trees ideal for growing in pots, too, so even the smallest garden can fit in a productive tree.

Try sowing an early carrot variety, such as Amsterdam Forcing, in a big pot in the greenhouse for a Christmas dinner treat. Outside, sow salad leaves, kale, radish, rocket, Chinese greens, parsley and winter hardy spring onions. These would all work well on the patio in large containers or, better still, in the open ground.

Clear away all you can as the crops die back. Compost this waste material to rot down into a valuable mulch for your vegetable beds. Spend time clearing weeds which will still be growing, to prevent them setting seeds for next year's crop of hard work!

https://www.bartongrange.co.uk/plants-and-gardening/gardening-advice/ Thanks Will

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