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With the summer slowly fading away and the definitive crispness of autumn creeping into the air you would be forgiven for thinking your work in the garden is done for another year – however there is still plenty to keep you busy this month – from harvesting your crops to preparing for the coming spring. September is a month for taking stock and planning for the future.

  • Continue dead-heading in September to prolong the colour on flowering plants and keep a strong eye on weeds. As we enter the latter end of summer it is not uncommon to have heavier rainfall and with this weeds will thrive.
  • Summer bedding plants that are beginning to look a little tatty can be removed from baskets and containers and replaced with autumn colour such as flowering heathers, winter pansies, viola or primula.
  • Lightly prune plants such as lavender, roses and chrysanthemums. If we get a mild spell a second flush of flowers may even emerge in the coming weeks.
  • Plant some evergreen climbers this month to cover any bare walls and add a splash of colour – Virginia Creeper is a good choice – its rich red foliage will add a splash of colour to even the barest gardens. 
Fruit and Veg
  • Now should be a time of harvest so all your hard work should be rewarded with a bountiful cornucopia of home grown treats – raspberries, plums and crab apples are all ripening up now.
  • It’s time to start planting seed potatoes in preparation for Christmas: Maris Peer or Duke of York are good choices to plant now for a late November harvest.
  • There are a variety of autumn and winter vegetables you can plant to ensure fresh produce for the colder months - winter and spring cabbage, purple sprouting broccoli, Little Gem lettuce, ice berg varieties and Chinese cabbage are a few options.

Around the Garden
  • Don’t be fooled by thinking September signals a slow down in the garden. In many respects September can be regarded as a starting point. Along with planting spring bulbs, this can be the ideal time of year to buy shrubs create a new bed, rockery, or border. By planting your shrubs now it gives them time to settle and become established, so that they will take off next spring creating a fantastic display in no time.
  • It is also time to give your hedge a trim to set the shape on it for the winter months. A good job done now means it should hold that shape until early next year when growth begins again.
  • Check all your tree ties and plant supports are firmly in place.
  • Pack away your BBQ and garden furniture – but make sure to clean them first, that way they are ready to take out and use straight away once Summer hits next year. 
  • Now is an ideal time to start a compost heap in your garden – autumn’s fallen leaves, your grass clipping and any teabags, eggs shells or coffee grind will all ensure you have a wonderful organic rich compost for next spring’s planting.