Summer’s end – September is here
September always seems to come round so quickly. One minute we are just getting into summer and then it is September. Although it means we are heading into Autumn there are lots of lovely colours in the garden and the dahlias are at their best. As Summer draws to a close there is lots to be done in the garden.
Keep deadheading especially pelargoniums and dahlias to keep them flowering as long as possible. As herbaceous perennials finish begin to clear the debris. But don’t be too hasty to cut down seedheads. As well as looking attractive, when frosted during the winter, they also provide food for the birds.
Now is a good time to take cuttings from fuchsias and pelargoniums either to replace old plants or to increase stocks. However, you will need somewhere frost-free to keep them over the winter.
September is a great time to plant new plants. The ground is still warm and there is usually more rain giving the plants a chance to begin settling in before we head into Winter. It is also a good opportunity to move any plants that are not very happy in their current location or have overgrown their spot. When moving plants try and dig as large a rootball as possible. However they can be very heavy so you may need to call in reinforcements to help with the lifting. Dig a larger hole than the rootball for it to go into and work in some well-rotted manure or compost. Once it is replanted give it a good soak.
Any overgrown or large clumps of perennials should be divided now. This helps to re-invigorate them and so ensure a great display next year.
Spring bulbs are in the shops and it is time to start planting them ready for next Spring. If you are forcing some hyacinth bulbs to flower at Christmas you need to get them started as soon as possible. Also Spring-flowering biennials such as wallflowers should now be planted out where they are to flower next year.
If you have a greenhouse give it a good clear out and a scrub so it is ready to store those plants that need some protection once temperatures begin to drop. Cleaning the greenhouse helps to prevent pests overwintering in it and wreaking havoc amongst your plants.
Before amphibians begin to look for somewhere to hibernate divide or thin any congested pond plants. Any plants you remove should be left beside the pond for a couple of days to let any creatures crawl back into the pond. Covering with a net will keep the Autumn leaves out but leave a gap underneath for small mammals and frogs to access the pond.
Finally give your lawn a good scarify. This is raking out all the old grass and moss. You can get electric scarifiers if you have a large lawn or you can do it by hand with a spring tine rake for a good work out. Who needs the gym?!