September gardening guide
September is a month of change in the garden as the temperature begins to dip giving us misty mornings and cooler nights. Plants are reacting to this change and begin to harden up for the winter months. Vegetable plots are giving up the last of their summer crops while autumn fruits including apples, pears and Autumn Raspberries are ripening. September is a busy time in the garden as the seasons switch. Find out what changes are needed in autumn with our gardening guide.
- Raise pots up on pot feet or bricks to prevent them becoming waterlogged through the winter
- Autumn the perfect time for planting trees and shrubs, especially evergreens including conifers
- Save seeds from annuals for next year
- Hoe between all winter crops whenever the weather is suitable to keep germinating weed seeds at bay
- Sow hardy winter lettuce, spinach and turnips that can be harvested for their tops later in the year
- Buy tulips now before they sell out, but plant them in November
- Pot up clumps of chives and parsley to sit on the kitchen windowsill for winter use
- Prune bush roses that have finished flowering back by half to prevent wind rock through the winter months.
- Dig up remaining potatoes before slug damage spoils them
- Start to feed birds with fat balls and peanuts that will help them through the winter
- Visit your local Nocutts Garden Centre and buy spring flowering bulbs for planting over the next couple of months. Plant them into large pots if there are no gaps in the garden; these can be put into gaps in borders next spring for instant colour
- Move evergreens that have outgrown their space in borders
- Plan new borders for planting next spring
- Plant up containers with spring flowering bulbs and winter bedding plants (you can get up to 8 months flowering colour)
- Begin to plant spring flowering bulbs starting with Crocus and Daffodils
- Plant up prepared Hyacinths and Narcissus ‘Paperwhite’ now so that they will flower indoors over the Christmas break
- Sow Sweet Peas in long pots or ‘rootrainers’ and keep them in a cold frame over the winter
- Thin out heavy crops of plums so that the branches do not break under the weight
Place upturned flowerpots filled with straw or newspaper on canes to attract earwigs and keep them away from Dahlia flowers.
- Shade your greenhouse with netting on sunny days but take it off the glass on dull days to let in as much light as possible
- Top up ponds with water if the level has dropped through a warm, dry spell
- Treat your lawn with an autumn lawn preparation. Don’t be tempted to use up any spring treatments – the two are completely different!
- Use a moss killer to remove infestations in your lawn, especially if the area is damp and shady
- Cut down perennials that have finished flowering and mulch the soil surface with well-rotted manure or garden compost
- Cut the dried heads of Sedum flowers, finish drying them inside and use for winter arrangements
- Remove any plain green shoots that have developed on variegated evergreens, pulling them off or cutting them as close as possible to the main stem
- Cut old, fruited canes of Summer Raspberries to the ground, thin out and tie in new canes for next year’s crop
Wildlife and pests
- Take down nest boxes and clean them with disinfectant before drying and putting them back up
- Remember to leave some seed heads in your garden through the autumn as food for birds and other wildlife
- Leave some leaf litter in the garden over the winter as cover for hibernating insects