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September Gardening Tips
The hot, long days of summer are fading away as we harvest the fruits of our labours.
Fruit & Vegetables
- Keep harvesting vegetables and store in a dry place.
- Bring any remaining tomatoes indoors to ripen. Cut off the roots and hang the whole plant, then fruits can ripen on the vine.
- Split up any herbs that have grown too large, such as hyssop, chives and mint, and transplant. Cut the last of the herbs and hang up to dry.
- Cut back summer-fruiting raspberry canes.
- When beans and peas finish cropping, cut the plant away at ground level, leaving the roots in the soil. These crops add nitrogen which is slowly released into the soil as the roots break down.
Trees & Shrubs
- Give topiary and hedges a final trim.
- Tie grease-bands onto fruit trees and prune out any dead or damaged branches.
- Take semi-ripe cuttings off any shrubs you want to propagate.
- Prune any late flowering shrubs such as rock rose (helianthemum).
- With the weather getting wetter, it's a good time to think about /order new trees and shrubs. They will grow vigorously next spring if planted this autumn.
- Keep camellias and rhododendrons well watered.
- Plants that have grown too big can now be divided (and transplanted). Remember to water in the new divisions.
- Feed dahlias, stake and tie up tall autumn flowering plants.
- Plant out any biennial plants sown earlier such as foxgloves, wallflowers and violas.
- Keep dead-heading annuals and perennials to extend their performance.
- Plant spring flowering bulbs, but not tulips. They need to be planted in November to prevent tulip fire.
- Empty compost bins, using any well-rotted compost. Half-rotted compost can be used as mulch.
- Clear pond-weed and net your pond in anticipation of autumn leaf fall.
- Now is the best time to improve clay soils before its too wet or frozen. Incorporate organic matter and/or horticultural grit.
- Clean out your greenhouse, empty pots etc. to reduce the risk of pests and disease next year. Remove the shading so plants receive the maximum amount of daylight.
- Early in the month is a good time to make repairs and sow new lawns.
- As the growth rate slows, reduce the frequency of mowing.
- Remove fallen leaves, scarify, aerate, top-dress and fertilise.