Gardening in September

Although September is the start of autumn, we can still be blessed by lovely, warm weather.

This means your summer displays will go on flowering and looking gorgeous. But temperatures will start to drop and there’s always the chance of an early frost. Keep an eye on the weather and treat your plants accordingly, for instance, watering whenever necessary in dry conditions.

Things to do this month
  • Replace summer bedding with winter- and spring-flowering bedding, when it starts to go over.

  • Start planting spring-flowering bulbs, such as daffodils, tulips, crocus and snowdrops.

  • Cut back the flowering stems of perennials that are fading and dying down.

  • Don’t be fooled by autumn showers – patio pots, planters and hanging baskets may still need watering.

  • Plant overwintering onion sets to provide an early crop next year.

  • Continue to feed tomatoes and other fruiting vegetables with a high potash liquid plant food.

  • Harvest main crop potatoes when the top growth starts to die down and turn brown.

  • This is the perfect time to plant all manner of new trees, shrubs, climbers, roses and hedges.

  • Cut out old, fruited canes of summer raspberries, blackberries and hybrid berries after fruiting and tie in new ones.

  • Treat the wooden handles of tools with linseed oil to keep them in perfect condition.

  • Cover ponds with netting to prevent leaves from falling into the water where they will decompose.

  • Trim back pond plants and remove dead or dying leaves.

  • Reduce the amount of food you give to fish as they become less active.

  • Regularly pick all fruit as it becomes ready. Don’t leave it on the tree or bush to become over-ripe.

  • Continue to take stem cuttings of half-hardy perennials and patio plants, such as fuchsias and pelargoniums, to produce new plants for next year.

  • Take hardwood cuttings of various shrubs, such as dogwoods, philadelphus, flowering currant and forsythia.

  • Continue to deadhead summer-flowering plants to prolong their displays and provide colour well into the autumn.

  • Divide overgrown or tired looking herbaceous perennials. This will invigorate them, improve flowering and make more plants.

  • Autumn is a major time for lawn care, to get it back into shape and get it ready for the winter weather.

  • Kill moss in lawns with a suitable mosskiller.

  • Rake and scarify the grass to remove dead grass, thatch and other debris.

  • Aerate compacted soil – especially clay soil – with a garden fork or a hollow-tine aerator.

  • Feed the lawn with an autumn lawn food to build up its strength and harden it for the onset of colder weather.

  • Now’s a great time to start new lawns from seed or turf.

  • Repair bare areas or those with a thin grass covering using grass seed or a lawn patching kit.

  • Continue to mow the lawn if the grass is still growing.

  • Net ripening fruit to protect them from birds.