General Gardening Tips for September

Lawns Care

As autumn turns to winter, try and make the most of any dry days and rake the lawn to keep it free of leaves. A thick layer of leaves will damage a lawn and weaken the grass, and it also provides winter shelter for unwelcome garden pests.

Avoid walking on your lawn if it’s frosted, as this can also damage the grass.

With summer at an end and autumn just around the corner now is a good time to take a good look at your garden. Look around carefully, note your triumphs and your disappointments, and make changes toward the end of this month. It’s time to think of ordering those new roses, shrubs, and other plants that you need.

Regularly remove wilted flowers from Dahlias, Gegonias and Cannas to stimulate new flower growth. Summer flowering heather can be cut back.

Despite the obvious benefits that container-grown plants have brought gardening, the autumn is still the best time for planting. The soil is still warm and the autumnal rains will get them established before the winter sets in, giving a good start for the next season.

Now is also the perfect time to move or plant Evergreen and Coniferous plants. When moving Evergreens, do make sure that you retain a good ball of undisturbed soil around their roots and plant them no deeper than the original depth. Firm them in well using your heel rather than the flat of your foot and water them in well, ensuring that the foliage is also wetted.

Planting Seeds

Sow sweet peas in the greenhouse or a cold frame for early summer flowers next year. They’ll grow as soon as the weather gets warm enough, and will be ready for planting out next spring.

Garden Wildlife

Migrant birds such as Swallows and House Martins will begin flying south for the winter so keep bird feeders and birdbaths topped up to encourage more birds to visit your garden as autumn sets in.

Ladybugs and Lacewings eat Aphids such as Blackfly and Whitefly that will destroy crops, so plant bright flowers such as Candytuft, Sunflowers and Marigolds, and create places where these bugs can shelter and lay their eggs.

How to prevent dirty fingernails

To help prevent the build-up of dirt under your fingernails while you work in the garden, rub your fingernails across a bar of soap and you’ll successfully seal the undersides of your nails so dirt can’t collect beneath them. Then, after you’ve finished in the garden, use a nailbrush to remove the soap and your nails will be sparkling clean.

The next time you boil or steam vegetables, don’t pour the water down the sink, when cool use it to water your potted patio plants and you’ll be astonished at how the plants respond to the vegetable soup.

Proper timing makes all the difference when it comes to planting your garden. Try and learn how long each plant needs to grow to full development, what time of year it should be planted: early spring or summer or autumn, and when to begin to plant your seedlings.

Knowing these details will help make the difference between a successful and unsuccessful garden.

The Pond

Fallen leaves can cause problems for your pond at this time of year. The leaves should be fished out frequently using a fishing net. Another way is to cover the pond with netting during the autumn months.

It is very important to clean the pond thoroughly before winter. This can help to prevent a build-up on the bed of the pond during the winter months as well as the growth of algae in early spring. Remove all dead vegetation, fallen leaves and excess underwater plants, and remove the sediment from decomposing organic matter on the bed of the pond. Any material removed from the pond should be left next to the pond for a few hours, helping creatures that have accidentally been removed with this organic matter to get back into the pond. These creatures are vital for a proper balance in the pond.

By the way the organic matter removed is a very good component for the compost heap.