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Gardening Jobs for September

  • Plant spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils, crocus and hyacinths now. Buy early and plant before the first frosts and come Springtime your garden will be a riot of colour.
  • Create a new lawn from turf or seed – autumn weather is favourable for good lawn establishment. Raise the height of your mower blades as grass growth slows down.
  • Now is a good time to carry out essential lawn maintenance to avoid water logging and compaction. Try aerating your lawn with a garden fork, removing thatch from the surface with a rake and repairing dead patches. Use a specialist lawn scarifier if you have a large area to cover. Apply a special lawn top-dressing after carrying out maintenance work. Follow the instructions on the packet carefully.
  • Sow green manures such as mustard, clover and rye grass on uncultivated areas to improve soil and keep weeds down over winter.
  • Create compost bins in preparation for all the fallen leaves and dead plant material which you’ll be collecting over the coming months. Autumn leaves make a great addition to compost bins and are ideal for making leaf mould.
  • Raise pots off the ground for the winter by using bricks or ‘pot feet’, to prevent water logging.
  • Install water butts to collect rain this autumn and winter. Rain water is great for watering ericaceous plants such as blueberries, Rhododendrons and Camellias.
  • Start planting autumn onion sets.
  • 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.
  • Pot up some mint and parsley for the kitchen windowsill, to use through the winter.
  • Pull or cut off the foliage of main crop potatoes at ground level 3 weeks before lifting them to prevent blight spores infecting the tubers as you lift them. This will also help to firm the skins of the potatoes.
  • It’s time to start planting seed potatoes in preparation for Christmas, Maris Piper or Duke of York are good choices to plant now for a late November harvest.
  • Prune climbing roses and rambling roses once they’ve finished flowering (unless they are repeat-flowering, in which case leave them).
  • Keep deadheading annuals and perennials to extend their performance.
  • Continue to feed and dead-head your hanging basket and container plants – they will often keep going until the first frosts. Once they are past their best, re-plant as winter/spring hanging baskets with spring-flowering bulbs, winter heathers, trailing ivies and spring-flowering plants.
  • September is a good time to plant new perennials as the soil is still warm but there is generally more rainfall.
  • Get your bird table cleaned and start leaving out food for the birds – they will benefit from storing up fat now to get through the winter ahead.
  • Cover the surface of ponds with netting to stop fallen leaves from entering. Accumulated debris in the pond can encourage growth of algae and weeds, which will eventually harm the fish by reducing available oxygen levels.
  • Cleaning the greenhouse is best done before bringing in all your tender plants for the winter. Pests and diseases can hide in tiny nooks and crannies, only to come back to life the following spring. Hose down the structure with a forceful jet of water, and then use a safe cleaning products such as Citrox, and a non-abrasive scourer specifically recommended for cleaning glass.
  • Early autumn is the ideal time to plant a new hedge in your garden for shelter and privacy.
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