David Hurrion’s September Tips
Award winning Garden writer David Hurrion’s top tips for September.
- Strip lower leaves from tomato plants to allow sun to ripen the last of the fruit in the greenhouse as well as in the open garden. Pick fruits as soon as they start to show their first colour and finish ripening indoors on a sunny windowsill.
- Identify and leave seed heads of plants that you want to save seeds from, such as this agapanthus, as well as dahlias, echinacea, rudbeckia and other late summer perennials.
- Dredge yellowing leaves and faded flower of waterlilies from ponds before they sink and have chance to sully the water. Use a spring-tined rake to fish them out.
- Sow a 20cm diameter pot of multipurpose compost with wild rocket seed and water well. In 6-8 weeks this will provide you with pickings of peppery leaves to use in autumn and winter salads. Stand the pot in a sheltered place that gets sun for part of the day.
- Lift a clump of chives and split the roots into four or five divisions. Pot these individually and water well, bringing a potful indoors for a couple of weeks in winter to use as a garnish and to add piquancy to winter autumn salads.
- Pick out dandelions and other turf weeds from lawns so that they don’t get chance to overwinter. Raise the cut on your lawn mower to leave the grass at least 2.5cm (1in.) high and allow it to thicken up in readiness for winter.
- Plant bulbs of colchicum and autumn crocus to bloom in just a few week’s time. There are lots available in garden centres alongside all your spring favourites.
- Pick any last sweet peas and then cut down the yellowing stems to ground. Leave the roots in the ground as they have nitrogen-fixing nodules on their roots that will rot down over the winter to release this valuable nutrient into the soil in time for spring.
- Cover the garden pond and water features with medium grade netting to prevent leaves falling in. Knock up a simple frame from laths of timber and stretch the net across it, tying the edges in place to keep it taut.
- Pull up bird sown ivy seedlings at the base of fences and wall before they get chance to become well established and start their rapid vertical spread.
- Tidy up the foliage, runners and old flower stalks of strawberry plants growing in pots and the open ground. Rake up any straw that has been spread around the plants during the summer to remove any overwintering haunts for slugs, snails and their eggs.
See the September issue of BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine filled with inspiring ideas for your garden as well as reminders of other jobs to do this month