September Gardening Tips
September is both a winding down time and a planning time in the garden. The weather gets breezier and cooler, trees start shedding their leaves, and the grass slows down. But there’s still fruit and veg to harvest and plenty of maintenance to get on with.
Here’s your to-do list of jobs for in the garden this September:
Gather seeds from your hardy annuals and perennials, ready for sowing. Knocking seed heads into clearly labelled envelopes is a good way to keep them in good condition until the time comes.
Late summer and early autumn fruiting plants and trees are coming into harvest, so there’s plenty of picking to be done with early apples, autumn raspberries, blackberries, and pears.
Stay on top of other veg harvest, too, from beans and courgettes to cucumber and tomatoes. Pick them young so you get the best of them. If you have tomatoes still on the vine, pick them before the end of the month and take them indoors to ripen. Leave them on their vine for an attractive look, and make chutney with any that refuse to redden.
Dig up root crops, especially potatoes, before the slugs get at them, and store them in paper sacks or boxes after drying them thoroughly. Throw out any rotten tubers so they don’t ruin the others. Parsnips can be left a while as they like a little frost.
Mid-September is the time to plant new fruit trees, especially nectarines and peaches, which like warm soil to help them get established before winter sets in.
If you’re planning a new hedge, plant it now, and if you want to move your conifers, September is the ideal month. When moving trees, take as much of the root ball as possible and plant it to the same depth you took it from. Remember to water in well and protect from harsh winds.
Climbing roses can be pruned once they’ve finished flowering by cutting back side shoots to the first couple of buds. Keep an eye out for damaged or diseased, spindly or dead stems and cut these out.
Existing privet, hawthorn, thuja or laylandii hedges should be cut back early in the month.
Some plants that are getting leggy around now benefit from a trim with the hedge clippers, including lavender. Leave deeper pruning until spring next year.
Clear out all the debris and diseased materials, burning what’s diseased and putting the rest in your compost bin. Stay on top of weeds, which like the warm, wetter September weather.
The greenhouse is coming to the end of its season, so needs cleaning out and hosing down to prevent pests making themselves comfortable for the winter. Any you leave in will spring into action next year, so do a thorough job now.
Sweep leaves up regularly, as they can become slippery underfoot if they’re left on drives and pathways. Make sure whichever trees were planted over the last couple of years have an area of clear earth around their bases. This is easy to neglect if the trees are in grass or the lawn, but they need the clear space to ensure enough water gets through to their roots.
For gardens with clay soil, digging over now and mixing in plenty of pea shingle and organic matter will help improve drainage next year. You can leave it rough looking as there will be no planting till next spring and the cold frosts will help break it down. Hard work, but makes preparing and planting easier later on.
Now’s the time to start the over-wintering process for your garden. If you require any supplies to tide you over or you need help and advice, we’re here with all you need.