Your Garden in September
Your Garden in September
Summer may be coming to a close, but there is still so much to enjoy in the garden!
Once September arrives, we know that summer is coming to an end, and what a long, hot summer it has been. At the time of writing, the hosepipe ban in the north west is just coming into force. Hopefully, most of you have a plentiful supply of water in water butts and other containers, to enable you to continue looking after your gardens.
You may well have lost some plants to the drought this year and, if so, you will probably already have dug them up. If not, now is the time to do so, as you tidy up your borders after the summer. Clumps of perennials can be lifted and divided now, too. Discard the old, central sections and replant the younger outer sections, watering in well and adding some fertiliser to the planting hole.
This is the perfect time for planting. Your soil is like a giant heat storage unit and will retain the warmth of the long summer for a good few weeks yet. This enables the roots of new plantings to establish well before the cold weather sets in, helping them to survive the winter and giving them a head start next spring.
So, if you have gaps because of drought-affected plants, there are still plenty of perennials you can add to the garden to give you a last flush of colour before autumn. Helenium, Crocosmia, Aster and Japanese Anemones all look fabulous at this time of year, as do grasses such as Miscanthus and Pennisetum.
If you have room, you might want to consider planting a fruit tree. These are a wonderful addition to any garden, producing blossom earlier in the year followed by your own fruit harvest in the autumn. Even if you only have a small space, there are patio fruit trees which can be planted in containers. Choose a fruit you love to eat, or cook with, and get planting!
Some fruit trees are self-fertile whist others need a second tree to cross pollinate. In built up areas, there are usually other trees close by but, in rural areas, you might need to plant a second tree. If in doubt, ask your garden centre or nursery for advice.
Start planting spring bulbs this month, in borders, containers and even the lawn. This is the time for planting daffodils, crocus and hyacinths, to ensure your garden is full of colour next spring. When you see those green shoots poking through towards the end of winter, you will be so glad you made the effort.
Keep deadheading and feeding your summer container displays as, with good care, these will keep rewarding you with colour into the autumn. Prune late-flowering shrubs, such as Lavatera and Hibiscus, to encourage fuller, healthy growth next spring.
I'm going to suggest 'Garden Mums' as my feature plant this month. These hardy Chrysanthemums are easy to grow and require little attention and yet will provide fantastic domes of long-lasting colour until the first frosts. Plant them in borders and containers for a fabulous display of rich autumn colour which will return year after year.
SEPTEMBER ON THE VEG PLOT
Sow over wintering onions, winter lettuce and winter hardy spring onions, and there's still time to sow chard and perpetual spinach, too. Onion sets (over wintering varieties) can be planted out now and will provide an early crop next year. Plant them out somewhere sunny and free draining.
As you harvest crops, remove spent plants to the compost heap, start digging over empty areas, adding well-rotted manure or compost as you go. This works well for clay soils, you can leave sandy soils until the end of winter. Just cover the area with weed suppressing fabric to keep weeds down and prevent any nutrients being washed away by the rain.
Keep watering your pumpkins and winter squashes to swell the fruit. Place a tile under developing fruit to help prevent them rotting on damp ground. Remove some of the bigger leaves to expose the fruits to the sun, which will encourage ripening.
Keep on top of harvesting and storing your crops for delicious treats during winter.
https://www.bartongrange.co.uk/plants-and-gardening/gardening-advice/ Thanks to WILL
Gardening Jobs for September
In the flower garden
• Continue to feed and dead-head your hanging basket and container plants - they will often keep going until the first frosts.
• Try autumn-sowing hardy annuals for bigger plants next year.
• Start to divide herbaceous perennials as the weather cools.
• Fill gaps in borders with autumn flowering plants such as sedum and chrysanthemum to extend the colour to the end of the season.
• Keep deadheading annuals and perennials to extend their performance.
In the vegetable garden
• Keep harvesting crops. If you have a glut of fruit and veg try freezing, drying, pickling, and storing so that you can benefit from them later on.
• Start the autumn cleanup. Remove any old crops that have finished and clear away weeds to leave your plot clean and tidy for the winter.
• Pot up some mint and parsley for the kitchen windowsill, to use through the winter.
• Cover your brassicas with netting to prevent birds making a meal out of them.
• The end of this month is the perfect time to start planting garlic bulbs for cropping next year.
• Start planting autumn onion sets.
In the fruit garden
• Order your strawberries, raspberries, blackberries or currant bushes for cropping next year as these plants are best planted during their dormant season.
• Look out for rotting fruits on your pear, apple and plum trees. Pick them off as they will spread disease if left on the tree.
• Pick blackberries as they ripen and use straight away or freeze some for use later on.
In the greenhouse
• Empty pots - old compost and decaying plant material can harbour unwanted pests in your greenhouse and provide ideal shelter for them over winter. Clean out your greenhouse to reduce the risk of pests and diseases next year.
• Don't forget to remove the shading from your greenhouse towards the end of the month so that your plants receive the maximum amount of light.
• Water early on in the day so the greenhouse is dry by the evening. Damp, cool nights can encourage botrytis.
Looking after your lawn
Create a new lawn from turf or seed - autumn weather is favourable for good lawn establishment.
Raise the height of your mower blades as grass growth slows down.
Other jobs about the garden
Create compost bins in preparation for all the fallen leaves and dead plant material which you'll be collecting over the coming months. Autumn leaves make a great addition to compost bins and are ideal for making leaf mould.
Dispose of diseased plant material by burning it or putting it in with your household waste. Don?t compost it as the spores may remain in the compost and reinfect your plants.
Raise pots off the ground for the winter by using bricks or 'pot feet', to prevent waterlogging.