Check out our latest gardening reminders for September 2020 put together by chairman and horticulturist John Richardson.
1) If you have heavy soil, dig over the garden borders as bedding plants need to be removed. This will make digging easier as the soil will not be at full water capacity as in later months.
2) Now is the time to make yourself a good big compost bin, just before you really need it! Ideally, use 4 stakes as corners 1 metre apart in a square and staple wire netting (1 metre deep) around the square. This affords easy entry when you wish to empty it, or it can be made bigger or smaller at will. If you would like a permanent one, use pressure-treated plywood or boards instead of netting.
3) On a fine evening have a walk around the garden and make a note of what has done really well, and also not so well, so that when the time comes to replant the borders you will have a good idea of what will be successful! Why not have a visit to Harlow Carr gardens or one of the other splendid gardens in the area, and make a note of which plants you are really motivated by?
4) Towards the end of the month and into October is the best time to move evergreens as the soil is still warm and new roots will take hold before winter. Make sure the planting hole is big enough so the plant is at the same depth as before, firm soil back around the root-ball and water in well.
5) Keep dead-heading the best flowering plants to encourage new flowers and stop them from setting seed.
6) Take hardwood cuttings of your favourite roses. Ideal cuttings are about pencil thickness and 30cm long, remove the top 8cm of young growth down to just above a bud. Cut the bottom of the stem at about 2-3mm below a bud and trim off all the leaves with the exception of the top 3 sets of leaves.Make a slot with a spade in an area of good soil and push in the cuttings (base first!) so that about one third remains above ground. If the soil is heavy, run some sharp sand down the planting slot to improve drainage. The cuttings should be ready to plant out next autumn.
7) Complete the lifting of last season’s bulbs and dry them off naturally in light woven sacks for maximum ventilation.
8) Prune rambler roses when they have finished flowering.
9) Now is the time to sort out your bulb order to give you maximum choice. Bulb catalogues are now really helpful and a pleasure to look at. Planting early has benefits for all bulbs, but leave tulips until late November in order to prevent disease infection.
10) New construction such as rock gardens or raised beds started this month should be completed before the days get too short and the soil has become wet.
11) Crocosmias form large mounds of roots and corms after a few years, try separating them with a fork, pulling them apart, or removing the soil and untangling them with the help of a hosepipe jet.
12) This month and next month the lawn can be mown less frequently, but will really benefit from mechanical scarifying or the regular use of a spring tine rake to remove the old ‘thatch’. Aerating by means of a machine or a garden fork will work wonders, in conjunction with a specific lawn
weed-0killer and an autumn lawn fertilizer dressing.
13) Cheap insecticide – 3 pounds of rhubarb leaves infused in 6 pints of water with added soap solution makes a good insecticide. It is poisonous, take the usual necessary precaution.
Posted 1st Sep 1:11pm