September 3, 2021

Gardening In September

September is the last chance to get some big gardening jobs done before the winter sets in. It’s also a time to prepare the garden for next year!

Gardening In September

As we enter September, the days are cooler and noticeably shorter. Nonetheless, we can still expect some good weather with plenty of direct sunshine as we gather the harvest and enjoy flowers into the autumn.

But there are plenty of jobs, including some backbreaking work, to do around the garden.

Routine Jobs Around the Garden

Here are our top 5 jobs for September. This necessitates a lot of hard work, but the rewards are considerable!

Mend the lawn

Begin lowering the cut of the lawnmower early September when preparing to revitalize the lawn. Doing this will help to remove thatch and top dress the lawn later in the month.

Use a spring tine rake to scarify the lawn and remove thatch from the lawn. You’ll be surprised how much debris this removes, and probably a little concerned by the appearance of your lawn. But don’t worry, it will soon recover and be better for the hard work done!

Next, aerate the lawn with a garden fork. You need to dig deep, pushing the prongs around 125 mm (5”) into the lawn at 200 mm (8”) intervals. Doing this alleviates surface compaction and encourages strong root growth.

Finally, top dress the lawn immediately afterwards with a 10-20 mm layer of sand and loam mix. Once the dressing is dry, work this into the lawn using a stiff broom.

Get a compost bin

With autumn comes lots of garden debris: clippings, cuttings, leaves and so on. So get a compost bin and put some goodness back into your garden soil.

Whether you build your own or buy a ready-made compost bin, they all provide somewhere to store garden debris that in time will produce excellent compost for the garden. Simply remember these basic rules when adding to the compost heap:

  • use a good mix of different materials,
  • separate woody materials, and
  • avoid diseased materials.

Divide herbaceous perennials

Once the flowers go over, cut herbaceous perennials down to tidy the borders. Large clumps should be lifted with a garden fork and divided. Dividing perennials is essential for plants to perform at their best every year and offers the opportunity to multiply your plants too.

When dividing plants, take the opportunity to revitalize the soil by adding plenty of organic material as you plant into groups of three, five, seven or more. And remember, you can divide herbaceous perennials right through autumn into the spring, so long as soil conditions are good.

Plant new shrubs and perennials

It’s a great time to plant out new shrubs and herbaceous perennials during September while the soil is warm and moist. Doing this now gives plants a chance to establish themselves before the winter for a flying start in the spring.

Likewise, it is a good time to move evergreen shrubs. However, be sure to dig around the plant as far from the base and as deep as possible to ensure there’s a healthy root system. For large shrubs, seek assistance since the root ball can easily weigh over 30 kg.

Clear the pond

Over the summer months, oxygenating and floating plants often grow exceptionally well and can overrun the pond. Therefore, take time to thin out these and other poolside plants. And remember to leave the debris next to the pond for a few days, so wildlife hiding on the plants have an opportunity to get back into the pond.

It’s also a good idea to cover ponds with some netting to prevent leaves from falling in and rotting in the water, since the gases they produce can be lethal to fish and pond life.

Happy gardening!

Martin Webster, The Suburban Gardener

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