September

Gardening tips for September

A key time for harvesting and preparing for next year, milder September temperatures can be great for gardeners. Let Dobbies share their top tips for getting the most out of your garden during this time.

Flowers

  • Clear away faded summer bedding plants and plant out pansies, wallflowers and other spring bedding plants
  • Sow hardy annuals outside to flower for next spring
  • Deadhead roses regularly
  • Spray roses to control black spot mildew and aphids
  • Water camellias regularly as they are now forming next year's flower buds
  • Dead head annuals, perennials and Roses
  • Continue spraying for mildew and other fungal diseases
  • Towards the end of the month prepare to move evergreens and perennials that are growing in the wrong places
  • Clear up any fallen leaves and other dead plant material to prevent diseases over wintering and remove shelter for vine weevils

Fruit

  • Put fruit nets on late fruiting varieties of Raspberries and Blackberries and remember to check regularly that they are firmly attached
  • Harvest early fruiting varieties of Apple and eat immediately as they do not keep very well
  • Plant out new Strawberry beds and remove runners from any new plants
  • Complete the pruning of Tay berries, Loganberries, Raspberries and Blackberries
  • Check stakes and ties on fruit trees and replace if they are worn or rotten

Vegetables

  • Lift onions and dry them before storing them
  • Harvest plants as soon as they are ready to get maximum flavour from them
  • Cut and dry herbs for use in the winter
  • Continue to take precautions against slugs and snails
  • Regular hoeing will keep weeds down and prevent seeds being dropped on to the soil to create problems for the following year

Lawns

  • Now is a good time to sow new lawns using either seed or turf
  • Use autumn lawn-care products
  • After the summer lawns often need a bit of pampering and September is the traditional month to do this.
  • Start by removing unwanted weeds.
  • Most lawns, depending on the soil type, also benefit from being aerated every year. Do this by making holes in the soil with a garden fork and then rake in a bit of autumn lawn feed. This is not as necessary with sandy free draining soils.
  • Bad muddy patches should be re-turfed.

Greenhouse

  • Start to water dormant cyclamen
  • Daffodils can be planted to ensure a display for Christmas
  • Ensure that all vents are working and close them on cool evenings
  • Be extra vigilant for pest and disease

Ponds

  • Continue to feed pond fish
  • Check filters on pumps to ensure that they are not blocked
  • Remove any plant material that has fallen into the pond to prevent the build up of disease
  • Net the pond to prevent leaves falling in to it

Tidying

  • Now is the month to tidy up the garden, clearing away summer bedding and starting to plant spring bulbs and winter bedding.
  • Consider which annuals worked and which did not, and decide what you would like to grow instead.
  • Weed borders and remove faded flowers from perennials like Rudbeckia and annual plants like Busy Lizzie, this will keep them flowering longer.
  • Roses also need deadheading as their blooms fade - just cut off their flowers above the highest leaf on the stem.

Planting

  • Many gardens can look tired after bright and beautiful summer displays have faded, but a rich riot of autumnal foliage, shrubs, flowers and berries can add striking displays of colour.
  • Why not try Japanese Maples (Acer palmatum), Winged Spindle or Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus). The green variety of Smoke Bush (Cotinus coggyria) is lovely if you have space or Royal Purple if you are restricted.
  • Now is also the time to plant new evergreens and conifers as soils are still warm and moist. Viburnum tinus and Thya ‘Rheingold’ are particularly attractive and easy to grow.
  • To ensure your garden is still colourful in the colder months, why not try planting winter flowering pansies and primulas?

Bulbs

  • It is also the time of year again to plant spring flower bulbs like crocuses, daffodils, narcissi and snowdrops in borders and patio pots.
  • Indoor bulbs such as prepared hyacinths can also be planted now so that they flower at Christmas time.

Grow your own

  • It is also not too late to try your hand at homegrown vegetables.
  • In early September things like lettuce and salad leaves, Chinese cabbages, endive and winter spinach can still be sown directly outside.
  • This is also the right time to sow broad been seeds, plant garlic bulbs and onion sets for spring.
  • If temperatures get a little colder, a cloche cover or frame should be used.

General Tasks

  • Top canes with cane-caps to protect eyes
  • Clean paving or slabs with an algicide
  • Use a Residual Current Device (RCD) when using any electrical equipment in the garden
  • Feed the garden using a granular fertiliser like Growmore or Rose Plus

Plants at their best

Montbretia
Salvias
Sedum herbstfreud
Sedum 'Autumn Joy'
Aster novibelgii varieties (Michaelmas Daisy)
Autumn Glory
Kaffir Lily (Schizostylus)
Gentian
Day Lily (Hemerocallis)