After a sweltering summer is Britain, we suspect many gardeners are hoping for more predictable weather as the change of season approaches. This month, there’s still plenty of work like pruning and planting to be done in the garden/allotment. However, don’t fret! It’s not “all labour no fruits”. Much like August, this is still a time to enjoy the harvest of work put in earlier in the gardening season. So, let’s see how we can make the most of the warm-ish weather over the next few weeks, with gardening tips for September…
Prune Flowers or Fruit
As we go through September and head towards the end of the month, the colder autumn weather begins to come on strong. Set this as a little deadline for yourself to prune any remaining flowers that are dead and fading away. If you were lucky enough to have a fabulous display of flowers this year, it’s important to do this in order to encourage more flowers to bloom next time around. Do the same if you have soft-fruit producing shrubs/trees such as raspberry, gooseberry or blackcurrants.
*Bonus Tip: For those of you who like to avoid gardening in the colder months, we suggest pruning in September, however, if you don’t mind getting out in chillier conditions, leave pruning a little later to ensure plants are in a completely dormant state.
Keep the Compost Heap Going
If you’re a kitchen gardener, this month certainly isn’t the end for you. There’s plenty for you to do around the garden or allotment. Any leftovers from your harvests should go into your compost bin, along with dying or unwanted plant material (unless it was diseased). Be sure to rotate and aerate your compost heap too, remembering to water it if it’s drying out and keep it covered to stimulate the composting process.
Autumn Lawn Care
After a record-breaking heatwave packed summer, many lawns are still showing the effects of the scorching temperatures with patches of yellow and dull greens across the grass. The good news is autumn is the ideal time for good lawn establishment. So, if you’re looking for a fresh start, now is the time to lay out a new turf or plant new grass seed.
Those of you whose lawn is in a recoverable condition should have a little less work on your hands. Simply trim it down to a manageable condition before leaf fall begins. Then regularly apply a high-quality fertiliser to encourage healthy re-growth in time for spring! (For Seafeed Xtra, we recommend applying 15ml of fertiliser per 5 litres of water, every 4 weeks)
Harvesting, Planting and Sowing
- What to Harvest
Harvest the last of the remaining summer vegetables such as beefsteak tomatoes which typically take a little longer to develop. If you’re harvesting your chillies and peppers now, you might expect sweeter flavours than an August harvest. And with the correct timing, you should be able to harvest the first of autumn crops such as leeks and sweet potatoes. On the even sweeter side of gardening, there will be plenty of mid-season apples and pears, ripe and ready for picking.
- What to Plant
Now, spring cabbages and overwintering spring onions should be planted out into their designated growing and maturing areas if you’re hoping to harvest them in time for spring.
- What to Sow
Unfortunately, there isn’t a big selection of seeds to sow at this time. However, if you’re into your greens, you have a choice of winter lettuces, salad leaves (rocket, winter radishes, spring onions) and spinach to sow.
Preparing for Spring
(Photo: Planting Daisies)
We know what you’re thinking, it’s September and you want to catch a break. However, with the main gardening season over, now is a good time to reflect and think about 2018’s gardening successes and failures.
While everything is still fresh in your mind, make a checklist of what worked and what didn’t so you can begin to plan for the next gardening season and what you hope to achieve. Maybe that’s being better prepared for the season to start, making sure your allotment plot is well mapped out or just a few notes that remind you of the good work and habits from this year to keep up. It’s never too early to think about how to improve.
Be sure to share any of your own September gardening tips and tricks with us too…
Good luck and happy gardening!