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29 August 2013

September Gardening Tasks

Although we can still enjoy good weather in September, it is the time to be making preparations for next year, with many of this month's jobs involving division of plants, seed collection and planting. I'm sure some of the following list will apply to you.

Collect and sow seeds from perennials and hardy annuals and collect tree and shrub seeds for sowing next spring.

Sow sweet peas in the greenhouse or cold frame to provide earlier flowers next year. Sow hardy annuals such as calendula, poppies and limnanthes outside in their flowering positions.

Any spring-flowering biennials that you sowed earlier in the summer will now need planting out. This may include plants such as wallflowers and violas.

This is a good time to divide any overgrown herbaceous perennials and alpines. This will refresh them and improve their performance next year.

Late September is a good time of year to plant new perennials, shrubs and trees and to move existing ones, as the soil is still warm, but moisture levels are increasing. Shrubs planted now will have the benefit of winter to settle in, and should be ready for action in the spring.

Take cuttings of tender perennials, such as osteospermums and pelargoniums as they often do better grown from new cuttings each year. Grow them on in a greenhouse or on a light windowsill.

Tender perennials such as abutilon, fuchsia, and lantana will need to be brought inside before the first frost.

Take semi-ripe cuttings of evergreen shrubs and hardwood cuttings of roses.

Continue to deadhead plants to prolong their flowering. This includes those in any hanging baskets where deadheading, watering and feeding can prolong their display.

Perennials that are getting past their best should be cut back.

Prune climbing roses once they have finished flowering, cuting back sideshoots from the main branches to a couple of buds.

Prune any late-summer flowering shrubs and give your evergreen hedges a last trim before winter.

Order and plant spring flowering bulbs and bedding plants.

Clean out your greenhouse and cold frames ready for use in the autumn.

Apply a weedkiller containing glyphosate to any perennial weeds as they are vulnerable in early autumn.

Remove any dead leaves from your garden promptly to help prevent disease. If you have room to store them, let them rot down to give you leaf mould in a couple of years.

Let's hope for a sunny September to get these jobs done.
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