The end of summer is upon us – we’ve all enjoyed the few seconds of sun (ha!), but now it’s time to prep for those colder, wintry times ahead. For those of you with green fingers, here’s our September checklist to keep your garden in tip top condition.
The Top Ten
The RHS has conveniently provided a handy checklist of chores:
- Divide herbaceous perennials
- Pick autumn raspberries
- Collect and sow seed from perennials and hardy annuals
- Dig up remaining potatoes before slug damage spoils them
- Net ponds before leaf fall gets underway
- Keep up with watering of new plants, using rain or grey water if possible
- Start to reduce the frequency of houseplant watering
- Clean out cold frames and greenhouses so that they are ready for use in the autumn
- Cover leafy vegetable crops with bird-proof netting
- Plant spring flowering bulbs
Fruits of Your Labour
As we know, September is the time to harvest, so you can (literally) reap the rewards of all your hard work! Remove potatoes and onions from the soil before the damp and cold sets in. Remember, onions need to be stored in the light, while potatoes favour the dark.
The National Allotment Society advises gardeners to cut your courgettes and marrows regularly, and pick your tomatoes, since these vegetables will be finished by the end of the month. If you have any green tomatoes on the vine, place them in a drawer to ripen. Of course, if you have any fruit –bearing trees, then these should also be picked before the first frost arrives.
There are a few edible plants that can grow in the chillier weather as well – a number of lettuce varieties, spinach and cabbage. Take a look at our winter gardening guide, for instructions on how to protect these lovely greens from harsh conditions.
Now is also a good time to do some general garden maintenance and tidying up – prune unruly plants, remove dead blooms, rake up piles of leaves and pull those weeds you’ve let creep in. Add all this matter to your compost heap.
Take a look at the garden itself – is there sufficient drainage for the rainy months? Will your plants be protected from heavy rains, snow or strong winds? Is your shed, tool storage area and home exterior up to scratch for the miserable months? If not, you’ve still got some time to fix these issues before they become a problem.
What are your top pieces of advice for September gardening, Dickies fans? Let us know in the comments section below.