As the summer heat fades away and the days become shorter, one thing is for certain: September is here! It is a time of year for taking stock of your garden, reviewing your successes and failures and planning for next year’s crops. That is not to say that there is no chance of growing anything else before the year’s end, however; the right crops can keep you supplied with plenty of greens even after winter rears its ugly head.
In September, much of a gardener’s time will usually be spent clearing up after a successful summer crop. It will be the perfect time to give your greenhouse a good clean, especially if you want to stop it becoming a haven for pests eager to escape the autumn cold. You will also need to pay attention to falling leaves: pick them up, and they can be perfect for creating compost, but leave them alone and they may smother your plants and encourage the spread of fungal diseases. Finally, September is a crucial month for lawn care. It will be the optimum time to scarify your lawn, following a few weeks of consistent lawn mowing.
For those that are new to gardening, as well as those of us with larger than average gardens, it is always worth considering whether you could use the advice of an experienced local gardener. In addition to helping with general garden maintenance, they can also provide advice on garden planting and ongoing care.
Finally, this is an ideal time of year to start planning for next year’s crops. For a more efficient garden design, you may want to consider hiring a landscape designer to help you restructure the space. If you decide that you want even more room to work with next year, ask a local carpenter for a quote on creating raised beds.
The summer sun might be on its way out, that does not mean there is nothing for you to do in your garden this September. For one, you will need to stop weeds from establishing themselves in your empty beds. This is particularly important for dangerous types like Japanese knotweed, which should be removed by a specialist.
A number of vegetables have 'winter varieties' which you can plant in September and still eat in the same year. Be sure to do your research before buying your seeds, and remember to follow the instructions to the letter.
To sow: corn salad, winter onions, salad leaves, spinach, winter spring onions, turnip, winter lettuce
To plant: spring cabbages, garlic bulbs, pak choi
Your greenhouse is a useful tool, provided you use it properly!
With the changing weather, you will need to change your habits: firstly start watering the plants inside earlier in the day so that the greenhouse is not damp and cold by the evening. You will also want to start closing the doors and vents early in the evening in order to trap heat inside overnight. Finally, if you put shaders on your greenhouse during the summer, now is the time to remove them so that your plants can make the most of the diminishing light.
To sow: spring cabbages, winter salads
September means colder weather and shorter days, but you still have work to do if you want to keep your garden healthy!