September is definitely a time for fresh starts, probably a throw-back to our time at school when September meant a new school year.
And it’s a great time to get out in to the garden. Hopefully the weather is good enough to enjoy being outside, and there are still plenty of plants that look good all the way in to autumn – asters, Japanese anemones, begonias and, of course, the last crop of vegetables and fruit.
There’s definitely plenty to do in the garden at this time of year, so here a few things to be getting on with before the weather turns.
Pots and Containers
Don’t neglect the plants that are still flowering. Regular deadheading and feeding, and watering if it’s dry, will help prolong the flowering time well in to autumn. Dig up any dead plants and prune back perennials if they’ve finished flowering.
Plant spring-flowering bulbs like daffodils, narcissus and crocus for a burst of colour. Dwarf varieties look good in pots as well as borders if you are short on space. Bulbs can also be planted in lawns and look particularly good around the base of deciduous trees.
Autumn is the best time to dig up herbaceous perennials and divide them. Either replant in your garden, or perhaps do a plant swap with a friend or neighbour. Make sure they are well watered. You can also harvest and plant seed from perennials in the autumn once they have flowered.
You can also plant hardy annual seeds now too to give them a head start over winter and this can help produce stronger plants than those seeds sown in spring.
This is a good time to have a tidy-up in your greenhouse or potting shed. Sweep the floors, treat the frame with a sealant if needed, make sure there are no leaks, clean your tools and make sure everything is nice and neat for winter, even if you don’t spend much time in there during the colder months. If you’ve put shades in over the summer months, you can take them down as the days shorten.
Fruit and Veg
Depending on whereabouts in the UK you live, you may still get a good crop of tomatoes, beans, potatoes, blackberries, raspberries and apples, so keep picking them! Make sure pumpkins and squash are raised off the ground slightly to keep them dry.
Your grass will need less mowing now, and avoid cutting it too short as autumn approach. September is a good time for some maintenance work, so re-seed any bald patches and apply a fertiliser then a top dressing if required.
Lastly, take some time to plan your next gardening year, perhaps you want to change the layout, or put in raised beds, or simply plan the plants you want to grow in 2018.