September Gardening Tips from Jo
Planting and garden colour
Now is the ideal time to start planting Spring bulbs including daffodils, crocuses and snowdrops. We have a great selection of these instore. Tulips are also available but it is better to hold off planting these until November. You can find additional information here.
For late Summer/early Autumn colour in your garden, good choices include pot chrysanthemums, sweet williams, violas and pansies, cyclamen and cineraria (silver dust). This is a good way to refresh containers and beds, especially as with the hot weather and drought, summer bedding has gone over earlier than usual.
Trees and fruit
September is an ideal time to plant trees, especially conifers and fruit trees. The ground is still warm, and usually quite moist which helps with root growth rather than using energy to grow upwards. However, having had such a prolonged dry spell the ground isn’t so moist at the moment – so it’s important to water in well and keep watered until we get more rainfall.
Harvest your fruit, particularly apples and pears which are plentiful now. You can also plant out new strawberry beds.
Top tip for pumpkins – remove any leaves that are overhanging the fruit and they will ripen sooner. And yes, pumpkin is a fruit!
Continue picking your ripe vegetables such as cabbages, runner beans, sweet corn, cabbages, courgettes and cauliflowers. While they taste best from fresh, you can also freeze surplus supplies (or give them to neighbours or a food bank).
You can sew salad crops, and plant onion sets for overwintering, leeks, caulis, broccoli and Brussel sprouts.
Maincrop potatoes should be ready – try to get to these before the slugs do! They are ready once the foliage dies back.
Remove any dead flowers but leave healthy rose hips.
Shrub roses: take off dead, damaged or crossing stems from shrub roses. Crossing stems may rub and cause damage to other healthy stems.
Tall bushes: prune stems so they won’t be damaged by high winds over the winter. Make your cut above an outward-facing bud to encourage new growth out.
Standard: think out the heads of standard roses (shaped like lollipops on a single tall stem). Their rounded heads can catch the wind and even snap off completely in a severe storm.
Are you composting your garden waste?
If not then maybe this is the year to start. Homemade compost is an environmentally friendly way of dealing with garden waste, and by using a compost bin you can create nutrient-rich material to improve your garden soil.
One of our top tips is to use Garotta Compost Maker in your compost bin as this speeds up the natural composting processes. You can read lots more about composting here.
In late September it’s time to cut those hedges. This should be a cut for shape rather than a hard cut back, especially after the drought. If you cut back too hard your hedges might get stressed, so be gentle!
Leaves falling into your pond can negatively impact the ecosystem. While you can remove them with a net this can be very time-consuming. So you may like to consider covering your pond with netting.
This doesn’t have to be unsightly, there are some finer mesh nets available which do the trick but aren’t so noticeable.
If you don’t have water butts in your garden then have a look at what’s available. It’s worth installing them now to catch the rainfall – in case we have a dry September.
If you have a large garden you may be able to install more than one water butt. If you have a small garden look at slimline water butts. These start from just £19.99. See the full range instore or view some of our collection here.