September is a crossover month in the garden. The borders are ablaze with colour, and you’re reaping the rewards of earlier hard work in overflowing baskets full of fresh fruit and veg: but it’s also time to start winding down and getting ready for next year. Here are this month’s garden jobs:
- Pick up rose leaves affected by black spot to prevent this nasty fungal disease overwintering and reinfecting plants next year. Don’t compost them, though – burn or bin them instead.
- Give the lawn some TLC by killing and removing any moss and weeds. Then scarify (rake out dead material), top dress with sandy loam and compost, and feed with an autumn lawn fertiliser.
- Start planting spring-flowering bulbs in borders and containers: visit the garden centre here in Rowlands Castle now to make sure you get your favourite varieties as they sell out fast!
- Lift and divide hardy perennials more than three years old, so they stay vigorous and healthy. Once clumps become overgrown and congested, dig them up and split up before replanting in fresh compost.
- Plant new trees and shrubs to make the most of the milder autumn conditions, when the soil is still warm and damp and ideal for establishing new roots.
- Continue harvesting apples and pears to eat straight away or wrap individually in newspaper to store in wooden boxes somewhere cool and dry.
- Harvest maincrop potatoes lifting them on a dry day and letting them dry for an hour or two before storing in hessian or paper sacks somewhere dark and frost-free.
- Sow fast-growing winter greens such as land cress, mustard spinach, corn salad and hardy lettuces – they’ll be up in no time and ready to harvest from late autumn to early spring.