September is all about making the most of the last days of warmth before you dig out your thick socks and jumpers again!
As the season transitions from summer to autumn, your jobs for the garden in September include preparing your plants, trees and grass for the winter and enjoying the literal and metaphorical fruits (and vegetables) of your labour.
You’ll notice the colours starting to change as well as the weather. Hopefully there will still be some sunny and warm days but by the end of the month, mornings and evenings will likely have a chill in the air and there will be a greater chance of wind and rain.
Here are some of the things to do in the garden in September for UK gardeners.
General Garden Maintenance
After you’ve cleared the summer bedding plants from your borders, the soil needs to rest during the autumn and the nutrients used up by the plants need to be replenished. Make sure the soil is wet and lay well-rotted compost or manure to be broken down organically by worms and weather.
As the weather is likely to get progressively wetter and windier, you’ll get a build-up of leaves, algae and moss so one of the important gardening jobs for September is to make sure your decking and patio is well swept. If you leave it, the detritus from the garden will end up clogging up your drains and fungal spores can grow in damp areas.
Hopefully it will still be warm and dry enough to mow your lawn and don’t forget to rake up the fallen leaves. If the grass is showing signs of wear and tear, you can sow grass seed.
If the rain comes, so will the weeds so keep an eye out and stay on top of them. The last thing you want to do is be out in the garden weeding in the rain!
In the Greenhouse
A lot of people make good use of greenhouses over the autumn and winter months so one of the most important jobs for the garden in September is to keep it clean and well-ventilated. As the light starts to fade, remove any shade netting or specialist shade paint.
You also need to stay on alert for pests and plant diseases. If you do find any, make sure you treat them quickly and effectively. Dead leaves and blooms can develop fungal issues and you don’t want them to spread in the warm, moist air of a greenhouse.
Flowers & Plants
One of the most exciting September garden tasks is to plan, buy and plant your winter and spring bulbs for maximum colour and variety. Examples of spring flowers include snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils, hyacinths, snake’s head fritillaries and lilies but there’s plenty more to choose from.
Keep on deadheading flowers in your containers and baskets and you can prune late-flowering shrubs as well as climbing and rambling roses.
Before the ground gets too hard, you can plant hardy perennials like trees and shrubs and you can fill in any gaps with evergreens. These can give your garden structure and body.
As well as planting your spring flowers outdoors, one of the gardening jobs for September you can do is to plant traditional Christmas plants, such as poinsettia, indoors. As well as brightening up a winter home, they make great presents.
Fruit & Vegetables
If the conditions have been right, hopefully you’ll have a bumper crop of apples and pears. Once they’ve been picked, prune the trees to ensure a good supply of fruit next year.
You can also harvest sweetcorn, runner beans, cauliflower, cabbage, onions and your maincrop potatoes and any other fruit and veg that’s ready.
Another of the things to do in the garden in September is to sow hardy greens including pak choi, mizuna, lamb’s lettuce and kale. You can pot herbs like chives, mint, basil and parsley and put them on the windowsill for use in the winter.
Next year’s crops can be planted now including peas and broad beans for a spring harvest.