Garden Jobs for September 23
September is a glorious month in the garden, usually with a equal balance of sunshine and rainful, bringing an invigorated sense of life into shrubs, trees and areas of grass that have dried out over summer. Salvias, Fuchsias, Penstemons, Asters, Japanese Anemones, and Rudbeckias are most definitely stars of the month (to name just a few), in full bloom bringing a new vibe to the garden. It is a month of opportunity for new ideas and inspiration with a long check list of things to do to keep your outside space looking neat and tidy. Here are a few ideas to keep you busy in the garden this month.
1.This is the perfect time of year for a re-design for old and new borders. Planting now while the soil is warm and rainful is higher will give all your lovely new plants the perfect time to establish their roots before winter, for healthy growth and great displays in spring and summer. Check out our 'Inspire Me' section for ideas.
2. Keep up with deadheading late-flowering perennials, such as Penstemon, Aster, Helenium, Rudbeckia, Roses, Dahlias and Phlox.
3. If you haven't already, then this is the month to give your evergreen hedges a trim to keep them looking good through winter into next year.
4. If you love your Pelargoniums then now is the time to take cuttings and produce new plants for next year. Use a light and gritty compost mix and water before you start. Choose healthy shoots and cut just below a leaf joint, removing lower leaves on the stem and any flowers. Insert your cuttings and lightly press in to keep them stable. keep out of direct sunlight and ensure compost is kept moist. In a matter of weeks your cuttings should root and will be ready to overwinter in a frost-free greenhouse or conservatory ready for potting up next year.5. Replace tired summer pots with new plants for autumn such as Japanese Anemone, winter flowering Pansies and Violas, Heuchera, Evergreen Carex, Skimmia, Nandina, Cordyline, Ophiopogon, Imperata and Cyclamen. 6. Lift, divide and replant early to midsummer flowering perennials now for a bigger and better display of colour next year.
7. Treat any plants that have suffered with powdery mildew this summer. Remove infected leaves and treat with sb Invigorator.
8. Cut back and tidy your English Lavenders, removing spent flower heads and lightly trimming into new growth. Avoid cutting into old, woody growth as this can result in unsightly patches that may not regrow.
9. If you have bare areas that are constantly filling up with weeds then why not plant some ground cover plants for fabulous displays and convert that labour-intensive space into an easy-care area. Great ideas for sun include Alchemilla mollis, Erigeron, Helianthemum, Persicaria, Sedum, Nepeta, Stachys byzantina and Geranium. For shade, try Ajuga retans, Asarum canadense, Epimedium grandiflorim,Tiarella, Vinca, Pulmonaria, Lamium and Pachysandra.
10. Give your container shrubs a last feed to keep they healthy through winter. Feeding later will encourage late new growth that will be vulnerable to frosts.11. Add an extra focal point to your garden by treating yourself to a new tree for breathtaking spring blossom while the soil is warm. Here are a few ideas . . . Amelanchier, Cercis, Malus (crab apples), Magnolia stellata, Crataegus, Prunus> (Amanogawa, Accolade, Cerasifera Nigra, Kanzan, Kiku-shidare-zakura, Shirofugen, Pandora, Pink Perfection, Shirofugen, Snow Goose and many more) and Robinia. 12. Collect ripened seedheads from your favourite plants, such as Papaver, Nigella, Echinops, Echinacea, Helianthus. Once the seedheads have become brown, cut them off and keep them in a tray in a warm and sunny locaion until they are fully dried. Shake the seeds out and remove debris. Store in a paper envelope in a dry, cool place. 13. Remove old raspberry canes that have fruited this year and tie in young canes that will fruit next summer. 14. Keep your lawns at their best for winter. Raise the mower height to reduce stress, give the lawn a rake to remove dead grass and debris and aerate with a garden fork allowing for better air flow and rain absorbtion. Give your lawn a final boost after all the hot weather by a applying an autumn lawn feed that is lower in Nitrogen. This will tough up the grass for cold weather. 15. Keep your herb garden at its best by giving some much needed attention to those vigorous growing perennials, such as Creeping Thyme, Marjoram and Mint. These can be cut back, lifted and divided allowing them time to put on new growth that can harden before the plants go dormant. Add some bonemeal fertiliser before replanting to help with root establishment. 16. As leaves start to fall, clear them away little and often. Compost disease-free leaves, or add them to your wildlife friendly area. 17. Keep your feathered friends happy by topping up bird baths daily and cleaning them regularly. Help hedgehogs reach hibernation by keeping a small area wild and providing shelter and hedgehog food.
18. Bring your beloved houseplants back inside. Check for pests and diseases and water less as their growth starts to slow.
19. Move containers with plants that are vulnerable to frosts, (such as tender salvias) into sheltered areas.
20. The most important thing to do this month - sit back with a cup of tea or well-earned glass of something special and enjoy all the fruits of your labour.