09.2021 - September Gardening Tips

09.2021 - September Gardening Tips

It's hard to believe that summer has matured, especially as it only seems like yesterday that the daffodils were dancing in the breeze. This month we urge you to make the most of the last weeks of summer as it subsides to make way for the autumnal equinox.

If you ask a gardener what their favourite month is, many will say this one. It's a beautiful time of year when the early morning dew refreshes and replenishes the garden, revitalising grass and bringing colour back to parts of the garden that have begun to look a little jaded. This is without doubt, one of the most colourful months of the year, allowing nature the chance to show off with spectacular displays. Towards the end of the month, leaves turn a multitude of tints from yellows and oranges to reds and burnt umbers. This is the season's last major display of colour before the cooler months arrive.

The Autumnal Equinox

The official start to autumn is when the sun crosses the celestial equator. This is called the autumnal equinox and represents the point when night and day are almost of equal length. Each year the autumnal equinox changes slightly but it always happens on the 22nd, 23rd or 24th of September.

The Perfect Time to Plant

September is the perfect time to plant container grown shrubs, fruit bushes, trees, perennials and bulbs for next year because the soil is moist and still warm, creating ideal conditions for plants to become established before the ground freezes.

This is also a month of harvesting, clearing up, sowing winter seeds and planning for the year ahead.

Spring Flowering Bulbs

When the first blooms of spring begin to appear, they bring reassurance that warmer weather is on the way. Some of the first blooms include daffodils, snowdrops, crocus, hyacinths and tulips.
For the widest choice and best quality, don't delay, get your spring flowering bulbs as soon as possible. 

Now's the time to plant them three to four times the depth of the bulb allowing them to develop roots before the ground freezes. We have an amazing selection of spring flowering bulbs now in stock including but not limited to daffodils, tulips, crocus, hyacinths and fritillarias.

Note: Don't plant tulips yet or they will come up before the cold weather arrives; wait until the weather turns a little colder. 

Look Out for Frost

We all know how quickly the time can go whilst you're out in the garden, especially as the nights start to draw in. It's important to watch the temperatures this month because September can sometimes bring with it a surprise frost. If a frost threatens, move plants to warmer areas or be sure to add a good layer of mulch to protect their roots. We sell a variety of frost protection products that are guaranteed to help your plants through the colder months. If you need any advice just ask a member of staff who will be happy to help.

Revitalise Your Lawn

September is a great time to give your lawn some much needed love to revitalise it after the hot dry weather and ensure that it's fit enough to get through the winter.

Now's the time to rake out moss and thatch or use a moss killer if necessary. Moss often grows in shaded or waterlogged areas of a lawn and the cause can often be prevented. Lower branches of trees can be removed to provide extra light and grass can be forked regularly to aerate and improve drainage. Raking your lawn will remove thatch which will also help with drainage.

If your lawn gets waterlogged or is heavily compacted, you will find that it will benefit from being forked at regular intervals of roughly four inches; just place your fork into the ground as far as it will go and wiggle it back and forth. Use a sandy top dressing for the surface of your lawn to allow air and water into the holes and apply a good autumn lawn fertiliser which will encourage strong root development.

As the leaves start to fall, they can cover your lawn and deprive it of much needed sunlight. At this time of year light becomes essential for lawns to develop strong roots, be sure to rake leaves regularly.

Gardening Jobs For This Month

  • Get hedges clipped and in shape early this month, if clipped too late then the new growth can be damaged by frost. This is one of the main reasons for conifers browning.
  • Conifers, shrubs, evergreen trees and hedging can all be planted now. Water in well after planting and if still warm remember to water them regularly.
  • Take cuttings from any perennials that are not very hardy in case they don't make it through the winter and over winter them in a frost free area.
  • Buy spring flowering bulbs for an explosion of colour at the start of the season.
  • Keep picking salad leaf to stop it going to seed.
  • As winds pick up, plants that grow tall will need support e.g. brussel sprouts, stake them in.
  • Towards the middle of the month, cut off whole trusses of any unripened tomatoes before the frost gets them. They can be ripened in a sheltered spot or made into chutney.
  • Make sure greenhouse heaters are working properly if you have them.  
  • Dig up onions and lay in an airy space to dry before putting into storage.
  • Collect seeds, lay out to dry and store in a dry paper envelope.
  • Take cuttings from lavender now.
  • Remove any shading that you may have in place in the greenhouse to maximise the amount of light.
  • Lawns can be scarified, returfed or sown from seed. It's a good idea to apply an autumn lawn feed and carry out any lawn care that's needed.
  • Buy spring flowering bulbs, plant daffodils in pots and borders.
  • Rake autumn leaves.
  • Build a leaf bin out of chicken wire to collect autumn leaves.
  • Plant out spring cabbages.
  • Order fruit trees for planting - don't miss our apple and fruit weekend!
  • Harvest apples, pears and plums as they ripen.
  • Take hardwood cuttings from fruit bushes.
  • Insulate the greenhouse.
  • Net ponds to prevent leaves falling in.
  • Check any structures are secure.
  • Cut off any suckers on roses and remove any diseased leaves.

Cutting and Pruning

Cutting back:

  • Cut back perennials that have faded or are past their best 
  • Cut back herbs to encourage fresh tasty leaves that can be harvested before winter arrives.
  • Cut back plants overhanging pathways and driveways.

Prune:

  • Pyracantha (Firethorn) can be pruned now, they do respond well to hard pruning so don't worry about doing any damage.
  • Rambling roses, cutting out old flowering stems and training new ones in.
  • Finish pruning apple and pear trees that you may have been training.
  • Prune out blackberry stems that have fruited. Tie and stake in the new shoots.

Sowing

This month, we can sow:
Japanese onions, spring cabbages, turnips, winter lettuces, spinach, salad leaves and land cress.

Sow sweet peas into pots for early flowering next year. Plant dwarf bulbs into containers e.g. iris, crocus etc.

Later This month

  • Clear away summer bedding and annuals.
  • Plant daffodils, crocuses and hyacinths.
  • Mark areas ready for planting spring bulbs and fork over if necessary.
  • Get tulips in for planting but hold off doing so until next month.
  • Net autumn blackberries and raspberries.
  • Check to see if pears are ripe.
  • Keep an eye on the weather for frost and be prepared to bring in any tender potted plants or use horticultural fleece to protect them.
  • Remove fallen leaves from around roses to prevent the spread of mould and diseases.
  • Lift and divide perennials
  • Plant up an autumn/winter hanging basket