The mornings now have a fresh feel to them, but overnight temperatures are still staying above 10 degrees. It really does feel as though we are coming to the end of the summer now, but there's plenty to be doing in the garden this month; below are some hints and tips put together by Chairman and horticulturist John Richardson.
1)The first 10 days of September is the last time to be taking cuttings of tender perennials such as pelargoniums and fuchsias. Roots will form much quicker before the cooler weather sets in. It is better to take cuttings at this late stage to root them round the edge of a pot and leave them in the pot until transplanting next spring. Alternatively, bring the old plants under cover in a cool but frost-free room and take cuttings early next year.
2)Have you ever thought of buying a greenhouse? Now is a good time to buy at a discounted price, with the whole winter to erect it and have it ship-shape for the start of next spring.
3)Time to check bigger trees around the garden; September can be a windy month and well worth the knowledge that boughs are not likely to come crashing down on the house, the garden and the new greenhouse in the winter sales.
4) If you have time to spare on the weekend, take a notebook around the garden and note those plants which are happy in their location, are growing too big, have the wrong colour combination with neighbouring plants, or really need more space. It will make your winter sort-out in the garden much easier.
5) Planting new shrubs in autumn has the benefit of warm soil to get the plants established before winter and the soil is usually moist; delay bare-root tree planting until November and be sure to install a stake at the time of planting. Always put the stake on the windward side and secure it with a proper tree time.
6) September is a good month to plant spring-flowering bulbs, but leave tulips until November, as this will help prevent the fungal disease 'tulip fire'. If you find mice digging up your crocus bulbs, cover them with fine chicken wire, which won't affect grass mowing but should dissuade mice.
7)If you have heavy soil, dig over the garden borders later this month as the 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.
8) Crocosmias form large mounds of roots and corms over the years, separate them with 2 forks by pulling them apart, or remove the soil and untangle them with the help of a hosepipe jet.
9) Continue to trim fast-growing hedging, and don't overlook the weeds in the hedge bottoms.
10)Newly planted perennials will do well when planted over the next 6 weeks. Give the roots of new plants a good soaking before planting, and firm in well to the original depth and place a good mulch around the plant to prevent moisture loss and winter frost damage to young roots.
11) During this month and next, the lawn can be cut less frequently but will really benefit from mechanical scarifying or the regular use of a spring tine rake to remove the old 'thatch'. Aerating the lawn by means of a machine or a garden fork will work wonders, in conjunction with a specific lawn weed-killer and an autumn lawn fertilizer dressing.
Posted 16th Sep 3:27pm