Jobs for September

FLOWER GARDEN

  • After a damp spell, sow grass seed or lay turf on ground prepared last month.
  • Finish all hedge clipping, particularly Leylandii
  • Water and feed bedding plants that are still flowering
  • Clear bedding plants that have finished flowering
  • Raid your compost heap and use it to mulch shrub borders
  • Plant out spring bedding: wallflowers, stocks, sweet Williams, foxgloves and Forget-me-nots
  • Order bare-root trees, fruit trees and roses for autumn planting: they’re cheaper and better
  • Order sweet peas for autumn sowing
  • Start your bulb-planting with daffodils
  • Clean out and disinfect water butts
  • Buy bulbs in garden centres
  • Cut back ground cover such as vinca and lamium. Mulch with compost or bark
  • Lift and divide border plants that have finished flowering
  • Put shrub and herb cuttings in a cold frame, or under a cloche
  • Plant climbers such as clematis

KITCHEN GARDEN

  • Order garlic for autumn planting
  • Pick early apples. A fruit book or nursery catalogue gives the ripening dates for different varieties
  • Plant out spring cabbage, winter lettuce

CONTAINER GARDENING

  • Water and feed plants that are still flowering, such as fuchsias
  • Empty containers where plants have finished flowering
  • Look for vine weevil grubs in compost

GREENHOUSE

  • Clear summer tomato crops if you want the greenhouse for overwintering tender patio plants
  • Have a gigantic clean-up: wash the glass, benches, pots and boxes with disinfectant
  • Pot on houseplants that have grown quickly during the summer, such as streptocarpus, begonias and aspidistra
  • Take cuttings of half-hardy plants, placing the pots in a propagator, or covering them with a polythene bag until they’re rooted
  • Sow winter lettuce

LAWN CARE

Autumn is the time to scarify (that is, rake) your lawn to remove dead thatch, while root growth is still strong. Aerate by spiking with a garden fork, hollow tine tool or machine. Then  top dress with composted bark, and apply an autumn feed. Finally, rake over and reseed any bald patches.


NOW’S THE TIME

Bulbs for Xmas
Buy specially treated hyacinths and put them in compost in a cool, dark place for the next ten weeks.

Winter Displays
Plant hanging baskets and pots for winter and spring. Use pansies, primroses and lots of bulbs, plus conifers, ivies and ajuga.

Look after your soil
Sow green manure on any spare ground to prevent leaching of nutrients in winter. You can dig them in next spring.

Sow for colour next year
Sow hardy annuals for early flowering next year: candytuft, larkspur and love in the mist will grow in a cool greenhouse.

Bring in Half Hardy Plants
Lift half-hardy perennials: salvias, fuchsia, penstemons and pelargonium. Cut back and pot up ready for the greenhouse.