We can enjoy September as weather-wise in the UK its usually very pleasant, sometimes known as an Indian Summer for some strange reason if its warmer than expected.
Sunshine this month can be 150 hours in the south, less in the north, and with gentle breezes it can be a good month to sit out and watch the wonderful colours particularly from the strong yellows, reds and contrasting blues remaining from late summer. These are usually the daisy family e.g. Rudbeckias, Dahlias, Asters and Chrysanthemums and the ever dependable, beautiful (and my favourite) Fuchsias. These colours then start merging with the autumn tints of Ivy, Berberis, Rhus, Japanese Acers and not forgetting the magnificent Amelankier and Cotinus for rich purples and bronzes. Trees are getting ready for winter with magnificent autumn tints to view.
Strongly recommended and still available at the garden centres are Kafir Lilies. These bulbs produce welcome lengthy flowering red and pink varieties. Spring bulbs should be planted in September as they really benefit from winter chill. Try planting some small bulbs in grass, it’s a welcome sight in the new year.
Dare I say it, plant Narcissus and Hyacinth bulbs for Christmas in containers and cover up with compost if outside or leave in the dark indoors for a few weeks until some growth is detected. They can then be can be uncovered or brought out ready for some very welcome festive colour.
For autumn fragrance the Clerodendron shrub is hard to beat and worth planning to put in the garden now for next year. This is the latest time of the year to plant shrubs while moisture is still taken up by plants so any shrubs in containers can be moved now.
It can be a busy month – use a grass rake to de-thatch lawns to let air and light into the roots and add a loam with organic matter as a top dressing to build up the grass soil for winter and next year’s growth. Lawns require low nitrogen liquid feed for winter months.
This year’s summer bedding annuals and biennials should be cleared out and replaced with next year’s Spring bedding.
Spring bedding, Wallflowers, Foxgloves, Bellis, Forget-me-nots and Dianthus should be available in garden centres now as these plants are biennials and flower next year after planting this year.
Lift maincrop potatoes and store in the dark. Onions should be lifted and dried when leaves are papery dry. Pumpkins, Marrows and Squashes should be picked and left in the sun to dry leaving a long stalk to prevent stem from rotting. Then leave in cool and dark storage. They can be kept up to the new year. Sow winter lettuce with cloches and plant onion sets and garlic and sow Spring cabbages.
Enjoy September, have a brief think about how the garden year panned out for you as this could be useful for your new year garden plans.