The September Garden

Gardeners' World

It’s hard to believe that summer has matured, especially as it only seems like yesterday that the daffodils were dancing in the breeze. With the changing of the seasons there are lots of jobs to do in the garden in September. With autumn approaching and summer almost over, there are plenty of tasks to tackle to get ahead before the cold, harsh winter months. But less about that – Let’s enjoy the colours and hues of summer we still have!

September is the perfect time to plant container grown shrubs, fruit bushes, trees, perennials and bulbs for next year because the soil is moist and still warm, creating ideal conditions for plants to become established before the ground freezes. Hopefully fruit and vegetables have cropped well. There may be some apples and pears to harvest but check they are fully ripe either by the fruit coming away from the stem easily or if you cut into the fruit the seeds are starting to turn brown, they should then store for some time. This year has been great for soft fruit. Freezer and jam cupboard are replete with produce. There is no secret about jam making except getting “the set” right I will, however, leave any recipes to fellow contributors.

Extend the colour in your garden by planting out bulbs from mid-September. Below are some of our favourites and have colour throughout spring such Snowdrops, Crocus, Anemone, Grape Hyacinth, Tulips, Mini Daffodils, Fritillaries and Hyacinths. Take advantage of free plants. Collect seeds, take cuttings or split perennials. Share your surplus with neighbours you may be very pleased with reciprocal produce. As the temperature drops it’s a good idea to protect border plants by mulching. It’s best to apply when the soil is damp or wet and make sure you weed first. It will help your soil from drying out, improve its texture and help protect the roots of tender plants such as dahlias or Verbena from frost – a good 2 inch layer is best.

September is a great time to give your lawn some much needed love to revitalise it after the hot dry weather and ensure that it’s fit enough to get through the winter. Depending on the state of our lawns and erratic rainfall it is time to rake, aerate and feed with an autumn lawn fertiliser; this will help develop healthier and stronger roots.

For the best results always apply after mowing and before rain is expected. If, like ours, your lawn is shaded or waterlogged, moss can be a nuisance. Rake well and aerate with a fork – use a sandy top dressing to keep the drainage. At this time of year light becomes essential for lawns to develop strong roots, be sure to rake leaves regularly.

Lastly lets enjoy what we have created and the things to come – planting good thoughts helps feed our minds with the right fuel.

Alan Caswell

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