September Gardening Tips 2022
As a child, September was all about new school shoes and fresh exercise books as the academic year began. In a way, the garden in September can be a bit like that too. It is a fresh start after the heat of the summer and a chance to plan for the seasons ahead.
You don’t need me to tell you that it has been very dry this summer, but hopefully some warm autumn rain will soon soften the soil and herald the new planting season. In the meantime, all the wonderful spring flowering bulbs are coming into the garden centres. I love buying and planting bulbs. Just the sight of the packets and bags full of promise cheer me. Look for large, firm bulbs. When you do come to plant, be generous and plant in clumps for the most vibrant displays next spring. Make sure you plant bulbs deep enough or they will look great the first year but may be disappointing thereafter. Check the packet for the relevant planting depth. For more information on bulbs, take a look in the advice section of our website.
If summer bedding plants are looking a little frazzled perhaps a boost of autumn colour might not go amiss. For a quick fix Cyclamen will give striking colour in borders, pots or baskets. For something a little larger Chrysanthemums may be just the ticket, straight from the nursery and full of bud in autumnal yellows, oranges and reds or more muted pink and white. Heathers are a good low maintenance, long flowering choice and new season’s Pansies and Violas will flower well into the autumn.
Unless you are prepared to do the heavy lifting with a watering can on a very regular basis, I would wait until the ground gets a little more of a soaking of rain before planting larger subjects this year. The rain will come and soon it will be the perfect time to plant trees, shrubs, roses and climbers and to give the lawn some much needed care and attention after a tough few months.
Until then, deadhead herbaceous perennials (cottage garden plants) leaving some stems and seed heads intact over winter for an architectural look if you like. You can also harvest seed from perennials and hardy annuals to sow and increase your plant stock for nothing. Similarly, clumps of perennials that have become too large can be divided, which leaves the original refreshed and healthy and gives you free plants to plant elsewhere in the garden or share with friends.
Of course, it is also harvest time in the more literal sense. As usual our runner beans are cropping really well and I am always amazed at how many courgettes one little plant can produce. Surely autumn fruiting raspberries are one of nature’s most delicious gifts.
So, it may have been a challenging summer for our plants and our lawns, but nature is so very bountiful and, even when the daily news isn’t so cheery, there is plenty of joy and fulfilment to experience in our gardens.