September 22 Garden
September is upon us, bringing a close to meteorological Summer and the start of ever shortening and cooler days of the Autumn season. We might even have to pop an extra layer on, depending on the weather forecast; but that won’t put us gardeners off. September can still bring us warmth which we can enjoy whilst tidying up our browning gardens. This month we can spend time cutting back any untidy foliage and getting the garden autumn-ready. As gardeners we should take a moment to delight in the summer garden we created and enjoyed; but not for too long as we now need to turn the page on that season and get doing the early autumn gardening jobs.
We all want our annual and perennial summer flowers to extend their floral display into autumn for as long as possible so we should be dead-heading as many spent flowers as we can. This will ensure the summer flowers concentrate their efforts and energy on any new buds and flowers. A snip of a deadhead here and there can give our summer plants a last push of colour. We should do the same to our hanging baskets to keep them both tidy and colourful before we take them down until next year.
The summer will have taken its toll on the garden lawn, so laying new turf and sowing grass seed whilst the ground remains warm and nights are becoming cooler and damper are the perfect conditions for seeds to germinate and roots to take. We can make our lawns look presentable and full before the Autumn turns to Winter. The growth of established grass starts to slow a little this month so we should now be cutting the lawn on the highest lawnmower setting as we want the grass to have plenty of leaf to stay healthy in Autumn and into Winter.
The month of September can bring us surprising warmth so we should continue to give our plants a water; ideally with water collected and stored in water butts. This is also a good time of year to install water butts to collect rain water in autumn and winter, our azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons will be the first to appreciate it during any dry spells.
How exciting; even at this time of year we can start thinking spring bulbs. So we can start to order, plan and plant some of our bulbs; we can start with crocuses, daffodils and hyacinths. We can plant the new bulbs into existing or new spots in our gardens – with spring bulbs it is always the more the merrier. We want to make our spring gardens as colourful and green as possible so let’s use this month to start a planting scheme.
This month is ideal for preparing for all those future falling leaves, so we can set about building a new compost. Ideally a compost will be a self-enclosed environment made from old planks of wood or pallets as opposed to just being a heap of leaves; we want the leaves to stay in one place and breakdown into a mulch that we can use on our borders and beds next year.
I love the start of autumn, with the changing of colours and browning leaves. Us gardeners are watching our green spaces transition from active growth to the slow march towards dormancy. I always think September is a month that comes with a summer hangover but also an eye for what we can create next spring and summer; a month with one leg in the past and one leg in the future. My maxim is; effort in the garden now will pay floral dividends in the future.
Please do follow me on Instagram @garden_with_tom for more seasonal gardening advice and tips.
This month’s top tips:
Maybe buy a sketch book and pencil to put your garden ideas on paper
Empty any unused pots and clean them out for storage
Place your pots on pot-feet or pieces of wood to prevent water-logging
Place a net over ponds to prevent falling leaves
Give the lawn a feed with an Autumn Fertiliser