What to do in the garden in September

What to do in the garden in September

September is a crossover month in the garden. The borders are ablaze with colour, and you’re reaping the rewards of earlier hard work in overflowing baskets full of fresh fruit and veg: but it’s also time to start winding down and getting ready for next year. Here are this month’s garden jobs:

General tasks:

  • Pick up rose leaves affected by black spot to prevent this nasty fungal disease overwintering and reinfecting plants next year. Don’t compost them, though – burn or bin them instead.
  • Give the lawn some TLC by killing and removing any moss and weeds. Then scarify (rake out dead material), top dress with sandy loam and compost, and feed with an autumn lawn fertiliser.

Ornamental gardens:

  • Start planting spring-flowering bulbs in borders and containers: visit the garden centre here in Nantgarw now to make sure you get your favourite varieties as they sell out fast!
  • Lift and divide hardy perennials more than three years old, so they stay vigorous and healthy. Once clumps become overgrown and congested, dig them up and split up before replanting in fresh compost.
  • Plant new trees and shrubs to make the most of the milder autumn conditions, when the soil is still warm and damp and ideal for establishing new roots.

Kitchen garden:

  • Continue harvesting apples and pears to eat straight away or wrap individually in newspaper to store in wooden boxes somewhere cool and dry.
  • Harvest maincrop potatoes lifting them on a dry day and letting them dry for an hour or two before storing in hessian or paper sacks somewhere dark and frost-free.
  • Sow fast-growing winter greens such as land cress, mustard spinach, corn salad and hardy lettuces – they’ll be up in no time and ready to harvest from late autumn to early spring.

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Plant of the Week: Rudbeckia

Prairie planting, combining tall, easy-to-manage daisies with airy, graceful grasses, is as on-trend as ever.

Planting Clematis

Plant clematis now to make the most of the warmth still lingering in the air and the soil. This means they have plenty of time to get their roots down before winter ready for a really good performance next year.

How to protect non-hardy plants?

Start moving non-hardy plants under glass now long before they can be hit by frosts. You can keep half-hardy exotic lovelies going from year to year as long as you can keep them reasonably dry over winter: the long list includes fuchsias and geraniums, plus Mexican salvias, diascias and tender herbs like lemon verbena.

Help saving trees!

Leading gardener Alan Titchmarsh is urging gardeners to join a campaign to save trees at RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey, under threat because of a road-widening scheme.