September. The month that generally marks the end of summer and the start of autumn, in the UK at least. It’s always a busy month for gardeners, as they tackle an assortment of tasks to ensure everything in the garden is kept ship-shape during the changing seasons.
In our latest blog, we get to grips with some of the main September jobs, starting with those all-important lawns.
1 Cut back on cutting back! September is when you should start to mow your lawn less frequently. Give it a helping hand at this time of year, by raising the height of the cut a little.
2 Examine: Look for wear and tear and take action now if necessary as September is the optimum month for treatment, giving the lawn time to respond ahead of the impending colder weather. Also check for damage caused by fungal disease or pests.
3 Treat: Treatment could involve raking to keep moss and other unwanted elements under control. But be careful not to rake too deeply as this will damage the turf. Aerating, or spiking, will help the lawn cope in the event of waterlogging. Using a garden fork, spike your hole 10-15 cm deep and the same distance apart. If your lawn has surface irregularities, you might want to apply a top-dressing mix. The Royal Horticultural Society advises a mix of three parts sandy loam, six parts sharp sand and one part compost or leaf mould. Apply 2-3kg per sq m (4.4-6.6lb per 10 sq ft), working the dressing in well with the back of a rake. The result is better rooting and thicker turf. If you purchase a ready mix, be sure to follow the instructions on the pack.
4 Feed: Do this after raking and spiking but before applying the top-dressing. Use an autumn lawn feed, as this is high in potassium.
5 Renew: Early autumn is a great time to create a new lawn from turf or seed. Laying a lawn from turf is the quickest option, with instant results. However, using seed is the easier and cheaper way and you get a wider choice of turf. Which option you decide will be down to your own requirements.
There are other gardening tasks to tick off in September, too.
Fruit & veg:
If you grow fruit or veg, now’s the time to reap your rewards! We all love harvest time, especially when there’s a healthy crop of berries, apples, pears, tomatoes, potatoes and the like to bring to the table. Enjoy!
September is the time to sow hardy annuals and plant new perennials. Also cut back and prune your flowers and divide those herbaceous perennials that have become overgrown and ‘clumpy’. This will encourage fresh and healthy growth next year. Take cuttings of tender perennials and if you don’t have a greenhouse, you can use a nice bright windowsill to grow them on. Bring other non-frost hardy perennials indoors. If you’re troubled by pesky perennial weeds, then tackle them now as they’re vulnerable at this time of year. Use weed-killer containing glyphosate but remember to protect valued plants with plastic sheeting.
Trees & shrubs:
Prune late summer flowering shrubs and give evergreen hedges their final pre-winter trim. You can now also plant and move trees and shrubs to give them a head start in time for next spring. Also give your plants and shrubs a liberal soaking. The soil will absorb it better, before the onset of colder weather. Start to prepare ahead for another great year in the garden by planting spring flowering bulbs.
Cover any garden ponds with netting to keep out fallen leaves during the winter months and clear dead leaves away as soon as you can to avoid disease in the garden.
And finally …
Once you’ve done your September jobs, you can put your feet up with a cuppa and dream of spring … preferably with a nice portion of pudding made with all that lovely autumn fruit you’ve just harvested!