Frances Rasch of Heale Garden recommends garden jobs for September.

September, if we are lucky can be the start of an Indian summer, with long warm days and golden light. The garden shifts towards a more contemporary feel, with swaying grasses and late perennials creating texture, colour and drama. Alternatively, the weather can turn cold and damp and we can be plunged into the beginnings of an early autumn.

Either way, the garden is still working out its natural cycle and there is plenty to be done.

  • Borders can be dead headed and weeded: remember to collect seeds from any perennials or annuals that you want to use again in the future. Store in a cool dry place and label.
  • Try to make notes on your borders, what has worked and more importantly what hasn’t.
  • Lawns can be kept clean of fallen leaves, which in turn can be composted and made in to leaf mould.
  • Now is a good time to order bare root roses; they won’t arrive until mid-November but can sell out fast.
  • Plant evergreen shrubs and trees while the ground is still warm and wet, remember to water them once a week if there has been no rain.
  • Biennials, sown earlier in the year, can be planted out.
  • Sow hardy annuals for early flowering next year, such as bupleurum, centaurea and ammi.
  • Start planting spring bulbs in grass areas, i.e. crocus tommasinianus ‘Pictus’ or ‘Lilac Beauty’.
  • Plant some papper whites, hyacinths or amaryllis in pots for bringing into the house during the festive period.

In the kitchen garden

The kitchen garden is still a hive of activity, with dahlias still going strong and plenty of fruit and vegetables to be harvested and watered and weeded.

  • Keep watering squash and pumpkins and place some straw under the fruit.
  • Sow spring onions, rocket, swiss chard, winter spinach, radish, coriander and autumn/winter picking salad leaves.
  • Finish spur pruning apples and pears.

Other jobs

  • Water and feed containers and pots; these will keep going until the first frosts.
  • Clean the greenhouses and make sure they are ready for bringing in the jasmines, orchids and cuttings of tender salvias, pelargoniums, plectranthus, and so on.

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This article first appeared in the September 2019 issue of Wiltshire Life.