Top Tips for September
This month sees most of the first preparations for autumn and winter under way, although if we are lucky with the weather, September can feel more like an extension to summer. Whatever the conditions, there is always plenty to do in the garden!
If time is limited in the garden this month, here are Lizzie’s top tips:
1) Start planting out spring flowering bulbs, the next two months are a great time to plant
2) Plant out winter bedding
3) Plant out new shrubs
4) Go Blackberry picking in early September!
5) Cut and dry herbs for use in the Winter
6) Patch up/lay new lawn
7) Give lawns TLC with an autumn lawn feed
8) Plant indoor bulbs to ensure flowered by Christmas
9) Net your pond
If you have a little more time to spare…
BEDS AND BORDERS
Now is the time to tidy up the garden, clearing away summer bedding and starting to plant spring bulbs and winter bedding. Weed borders and remove faded flowers from perennials.
Stock up on and plant out your spring bulbs to ensure you have a delightful show of colour in the spring. Pack grown Wallflowers planted now will also flower in spring. We have a fantastic selection of spring flowering bulbs in store and online now for you to choose from.
Pots and hanging baskets can give year-round colour if you plant them up for winter and spring use now. Choose plants such as variegated Ivy, winter flowering Pansies, Crocuses or dwarf Iris bulbs, and position your pots or baskets in a sheltered, sunny spot. Don’t forget that they might need a drop of water every now and then.
Most shrubs will benefit by being planted in the autumn as it gives them a good six months of cool weather and damp soil to become firmly established.
Think about and plan how you would like your winter garden to look. Many gardens can look tired after summer displays have faded so think about how you can add colour and interest with autumnal foliage, shrubs, flowers and berries. We love Japanese Maples (Acer palmatum), varieties of Euonymus such as Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald ‘n’ Gold’ and the rich colour of Cotinus ‘Royal Purple’ (pictured). Don’t forget to add in some evergreens and conifers if needed for height and structure, it’s a great time to plant them as the soils are still warm and moist. Viburnum tinus and Thuja ‘Rhiengold’ are particularly attractive, easy to grow and always popular with Coolings customers.
Continue to feed pond fish, remove any material that has fallen into the pond to prevent disease and net the pond to keep out falling leaves.
Whether you have your own garden bushes or not, it’s time to go blackberry picking! This hedgerow crop is the perfect partner for your home-grown apples, which should be starting to ripen and being ready to eat now, so take the time to see what you can find in the countryside to complement what you have grown in the garden.
Cabbage seedlings can be planted out for next spring, but protect them with horticultural fleece to deter late flying Cabbage White Butterfly. It will also ruin the feast for pigeons who love to pull out any seedlings and to strip the leave bare. The last pea crop should be coming this month, so compost the foliage of the stripped pea plants but leave the roots in the ground as the nodules on them contain nitrogen, which is good for the soil.
Cut and dry herbs for use in the winter.
September is a good month for patching up an existing lawn that is looking worse for wear. Cut out the damaged area, fill in the hole with sieved soil and firm it gently to bring it to the same level as the surrounding lawn before sowing your seed.
After the summer lawns often need a bit of TLC so remove unwanted weeds and give it a good feed, we recommend Scotts Lawn Builder Autumn Lawn Food to ensure early spring greening and slow release potassium for enhanced winter protection.
IN THE GREENHOUSE
Indoor bulbs such as prepared Hyacinths can also be planted now so that they flower at Christmas time. Plant them in pots or shallow bowls, leaving the neck of the bulb just exposed above the compost. Then place somewhere cold and dark for 10-14 weeks. They can be moved into the light and warmth when the flower buds start emerging.
Be extra vigilant for pests and disease.
In season this month: Apples, Autumn raspberries, Beetroot, Blackberries, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Courgettes/marrows, Damsons, Maincrop potatoes, Pears, Peppers, Plums, Spinach, Sweetcorn, Tomatoes, Wild mushrooms.)
LOOK OUT IN STORE FOR:
Our fantastic range of spring flowering bulbs. Whether you love Tulips, Daffodils, Hyacinths or Iris we will have what you need, along with a heap of inspiration and ideas.