Gardening in September is the time to prepare for autumn gardening tasks. The weather can be changeable this month, from mild warm days to wet and chilly. There are lots of tasks to keep you busy in the garden in September.
What to do now
September is the month when summer begins to give way to the onset of autumn. Now is the time to think about the garden wildlife and frequent visitors. Although this is generally a month to tidy up fallen vegetation, it is a good idea to adopt a more natural approach. Leaving some seeds on plants such as sunflower seeds and rose hips will provide the perfect nutrition for resident garden birds. Creating a habitat for amphibians by piling up logs and sticks around a small hollow in the ground. While gardening in September this year, plant wildflowers and weeds with attractive flowers around the small structure to create a frost-free habitat that will provide shelter for wildlife and beneficial insects.
- Mow lawns less frequently and raise the mower blades for a longer cut.
- Now is a good time to create new lawns and improve damaged ones.
- Brown, dry patches damaged by the sun will begin to repair with cooler weather and rain.
Gardening in September is a good time to create new lawns and improve damaged ones. Sow seeds or lay down new turf to repair damaged areas. Brown, dry patches damaged by the sun will begin to repair with cooler weather and rain. Now is a good time to scarify and aerate lawns to improve air flow and apply top dressing to create a healthy lawn.
Beds and borders
- Divide up perennials.
- Plant out new perennials for the September garden.
- Take cuttings from perennials for next year.
- Continue to deadhead and cut back plants such as roses and dahlias.
- Tidy up hanging baskets, deadheading and watering regularly.
In beds and borders, tidy up fallen leaves and spent vegetation. Pruning roses, dahlias and late-summer flowering shrubs to extend their performance. Dividing up herbaceous perennials to keep them healthy and encourage more growth. Planting out chrysanthemums now will fill the garden with colour until the end of the season. Spring flowering bulbs such as daffodils, hyacinths and crocus can be planted out now ready for a burst of colour next spring.
- Plant new strawberry beds with runners.
- Harvest raspberries.
- Harvest apples and pears.
- Remove dead foliage and add to compost.
As harvest time approaches there is a lot to do in the vegetable garden in September. Crops are plentiful at this time of year, keeping you busy picking beans, corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and courgettes. Harvest apples, pears and plums. Pick blackberries, raspberries and pot up strawberry runners for the yield next year. Now is a great time to collect seeds from your flowers and crops and taking cuttings from gooseberries and currants ready for next year. Lettuce and spinach can be planted at this time of year along with spring cabbages.
Weeds and pests
- Now is a good time to remove weeds from problem areas using ideally an organic weed killer.
- Keep checking for powdery mildew, eelworm and white rust.
The weather is still ideal in September to get out and give trees and hedges a final prune and trim before winter. Remember to leave some vegetation and seeds in the garden to provide food and shelter for the wildlife. Leaving seed heads on sunflowers and hips on roses will give the resident birds a hearty feast in the build-up to winter. A small wildflower meadow patch with long grass and a wood pile can create a great winter habitat for beetles, grubs and small animals like hedgehogs.