September is a crossover month in the garden. The borders are ablaze with colour, and you’re reaping the rewards of earlier hard work with overflowing baskets full of fresh fruit and veg: but it’s also time to start winding down and getting ready for next year. Here are this month’s garden jobs:
- Give the lawn some TLC while the soil is still warm so the grass can bounce back in double-quick time. Click here for our full list of lawn care tips.
- Net ponds in plenty of time, before the leaves start to fall and clog up the water. Remove any dead or dying foliage at the same time to keep the water clear.
- Clear up any fallen leaves and other dead plant material to prevent diseases over wintering.
- Check your Greenhouse to ensure that all vents are working so they can be closed on cool evenings.
- Start planting spring-flowering bulbs in borders and containers: visit the garden centre now to make sure you get your favourite varieties as they sell out fast!
- Divide summer-flowering herbaceous perennials to keep them young and fresh: cut back top growth, lift the clump then split with a fork before replanting or potting up the divisions to make new plants.
- Lift tender perennials like Mexican salvias and pelargoniums before the first frosts. Cut back the top growth by a third, pot up into fresh compost and place in a frost-free greenhouse for winter.
- Replace spent summer bedding with winter pansies, heathers and cyclamen for flowers through the coldest months of the year – you’ll find a great selection on sale now at the garden centre.
- Pick up rose leaves affected by black spot to prevent this nasty fungal disease overwintering and reinfecting plants next year. Don’t compost them, though – burn or bin them instead.
- Plant new trees and shrubs to make the most of the milder autumn conditions, when the soil is still warm and damp and ideal for establishing new roots - read all about how to plant fruit trees here!
- Plant autumn onion sets 2cm deep and 10cm apart for an early crop of delicious fat bulbs next June, a full month before maincrop varieties are ready.
- Pick autumn-fruiting raspberries as they ripen and freeze in a single layer laid out on trays overnight before decanting them into plastic bags for the freezer.
- Ripen green tomatoes by taking plants off their supports and laying them flat on a bed of straw before covering them with a cloche to intensify the sunlight.
- Cut and dry herbs for use in the winter. Read our blog post all about how to harvest your herbs!