The September garden

Guelder rose (Viburnum opulus) has shiny red berries in September that birds love to eat

Guelder rose (Viburnum opulus) has shiny red berries in September that birds love

Summer might be finishing, but in the garden September can be a time for new beginnings. This month I have some suggestions of ways to spruce-up your garden, both quick fixes and for the long-term.

This is a good time to make changes to your garden, so think about how it has performed during the year. If an area is looking bare, or the garden looks dull at certain times of year, now is the time to introduce some new plants. Container-grown shrubs and trees can be planted from now until the end of autumn. The air is cooling but the soil is still warm and moist, allowing plant roots to become well established before leaves start to grow in spring. Alternatively, you could order bare-root roses, shrubs and trees for planting from November to March. If you have a large area to fill, bare-root plants are cheaper and establish well if planted when dormant.

  • New container-grown perennials can also be planted now.

  • If you have established perennials that have become overgrown and congested, September is a good time to cut them down and lift and divide the plants.

  • This is also the month for planting most spring-flowering bulbs, apart from tulips, which are planted in November. Early daffodils and crocuses can be planted now to bring welcome colour during dark winter days.

  • Summer bedding is past its best now and can be replaced with winter bedding.

  • If you grow shrubs and trees permanently in containers, stop feeding them now to prevent any more soft growth being produced, as this can make them vulnerable to frost damage.

  • Lawns can be scarified with a spring-tined rake now to remove dead grass and moss. If your lawn has been trampled all summer, it may also benefit from aeration by inserting a garden fork 15cm (6in) into the turf at roughly 15cm intervals. Both these jobs take energy and time, so if you have a large lawn you might want to consider buying or hiring machines that’ll do the work in a fraction of the time.

Disclaimer: The information given in this blog is very general and results can be affected by many kinds of local conditions, such as weather, soil, aspect, etc. The author therefore does not accept responsibility for any loss or failure as a result of following any suggestions given.

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