September’s Garden Checklist
When the weather lets you enjoy the garden, the colours and general abundance now are fantastic.
On our nursery it is obvious which plants bees and butterflies are attracted to! The Agastache Black Adder is covered with Red Admiral and Peacock butterflies from dawn till dusk. The Origanum herrenhausen has the same effect on the local bee population, as well as being a very attractive plant and useful in the border, having an abundance of dark purple flower heads opening to a paler mauve. It also makes a good cut flower.
Things to do in the garden now: Borders
Dead head any finished blooms and collect ripe seeds of plants you’d like more of. Now is a good time to divide perennials and sow hardy annual seeds. Division and propagation of ornamental grasses is better done in the spring. Remember to leave some seed heads on for the birds!
Spring bulbs can go in from now up until the end of November depending on what they are.
September is great – more harvesting than sowing and weeding! Any areas where you have finished cropping such as after peas or onions, consider sowing green manures so that soil is not left bare for the weeds and to give a boost to soil fertility. Green manures to sow now are Grazing rye, which benefits soil structure, there is still time this month to sow phacelia which suppresses weeds, help soil structure and if left to flower encourages bees and hoverflies. Mustards can be sown now for digging in next year.
Now is the best time to sow elephant garlic, which will be ready to harvest green in June. Our seed garlic has just arrived and very fine it looks too, I have already put elephant garlic and Iberian Wight into my veg patch after removing the old pea plants.
It is also a good time to sow spinach for harvesting next spring. Winter lettuce and salad leaves such as Mizuna can be sown now. Have a look at our article on crop rotation for a quick reminder of what to grow in what order for maximum crop benefits.
Harvest squashes and pumpkins and put somewhere sunny to ripen. Plant out any new strawberry plants.
Elsewhere in the garden
Collect fallen leaves to make leaf mold – the best top dressing for borders and for adding to heavy soil to improve soil structure.
Repair lawns and rake out moss and thatch, topdress with seed and autumn lawn treatment to help winter hardiness.
Give any hedges and topiary a last trim before the cold weather causes damage to freshly trimmed shoots.