Monthly Gardening Advice – September
- Raise the mower blades before cutting fine lawns. This will help reduce stress.
- Get your lawn ready for winter by applying an autumn feed. Scarify the lawn first then apply high potassium feed followed by a top-dressing.
- During dry periods cut the lawn a little longer and invest in a mulching mower to help the lawn retain moisture.
- Last chance to put down a lawn weed killer.
- Loam & soil top dressing can be applied at the rate of 2kg per sq m, working it well in with a stiff broom or the back of a garden rake. If you use a proprietary product follow the specific instructions on the pack.
- Start reducing watering of houseplants as light levels drop.
- Ventilate and shade sunrooms and conservatories to prevent scorch damage to leaves.
- When you start to bring plants back indoors check them for pest and disease. Treat if necessary.
- Plant up hippeastrum (amaryllis) bulbs and prepared hyacinths for Christmas displays.
- September is an ideal time to apply biological control for pests like vine weevil by using nematodes.
Jobs To Do In The Garden
- Water tubs and new plants if dry and liquid feed.
- Deadhead faded flowers to encourage more and prolong the flowering period.
- Make a start dividing herbaceous.
- Plant spring flowering bulbs such as daffodil, tulip, crocus and hyacinth.
- Make sure early flowering shrubs like camellia and rhododendron are well watered during dry periods to ensure good flower bud development.
- Don’t neglect hanging baskets – feeding, watering and deadheading will keep them going till mid-autumn.
- Take cuttings of pelargoniums and osteospermum as soon as possible.
- Start collecting seed from your favourite plants.
- Cut back taller perennials like asters to stop them breaking in the wind.
- Start to bring in plants like fuchsia and abutilon before frost damage them.
- Allow the first frost to blacken foliage on dahlias and cannas before lifting the tuber.
- Check for first signs of vine weevil damage.
Jobs To Do In The Greenhouse
- Remember to ventilate the greenhouse on sunny days and on the warmest days you may need to damp the flooring down to increase the humidity.
- Give plants more space as they grow to help avoid pest infestations.
- Check for vine weevil larvae in containers.
- Regularly inspect plants for pest and disease.
- Start cleaning greenhouse ready for use in the autumn.
The Vegetable Garden
- Prune apricot, nectarines, peaches, plums, gages and damson immediately after harvest.
- Now is the time to sow vegetables for overwintering to mature next spring like turnip, winter lettuce, onion sets and spinach.
- Continue consistent supply of water to help avoid diseases, disorders and bolting.
- Water tomatoes & peppers regularly to avoid blossom end rot.
- Cut back old fruiting canes on blackberries and hybrid berries after fruiting.
- Don’t delay summer pruning restricted fruits (fans and espaliers).
- Dig remaining potatoes before slug damage spoils them.
- Lift and pot up rooted strawberry runners.
- Continue to harvest onions, garlic, sweet corn, figs, beans, carrots, potatoes, salads, raspberries, blackberries, courgette, cucumbers, tomatoes cherries, strawberries, early grapes, blueberries, gooseberries, melon, apples, pears, sweetcorn, peppers and kiwifruit.
- Hoe off weeds in dry weather.
- Continue to cut out old fruited canes on raspberries.
- Celery can be earthed-up for the final time this month, leave just a tuft of foliage.
- Net leafy vegetable crops with bird proof netting.
Wildlife & Bird Care
- Hip bearing roses can be left un-pruned to produce fruit.
- Clean out birdbaths.
- Keep birdbaths topped up.
- Refill bird feeders.
- Start building a hedgehog hibernation box.
- Trim hedges less frequently to encourage wildlife to shelter and feed.
- Make sure your pond is more wildlife friendly (by planting round the pond and creating a shallow edge so wildlife can access the pond safely).
- Give meadows a final cut before winter aim for 7.5cm (3 inch height and once cut leave clippings to lie for a couple of days to allow wildlife to crawl away and the rake up clippings.
- Allow seed heads to develop on some plants for a source of food.
- Plant perennials to attract insects
Any Other Advice
- Collect grey water for watering containers and baskets.
- Hang yellow card sticky traps in greenhouses and conservatories.
- Clean out cold frames, so they are ready for autumn.
- Net ponds before leaf fall gets underway.
Enjoy your garden and don’t forget to take time and stop and stare at the wonder of nature. Happy gardening!