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How to Keep Your September Garden Looking Good


September is a wonderful month for gathering the harvest and watching the rich autumnal colours develop. While we can savour sunny days, gardeners are always planning for the future and you can start to think about shaping your garden for next year by planting new trees, shrubs and perennials. Late September is often the best time for planting as the temperatures remain warm but the ground becomes nicely moist with heavy dews.

Plant container-grown trees and shrubs now while the soil is still warm. This means that the roots can become established before winter sets in and the plants will get off to a flying start in the spring. Because the soil is relatively moist there’s no need to pay much attention to watering, saving you time.

Dahlias continue to flower exotically. Take off faded flower heads to extend the season through to the first frosts. Cut back to the next side shoot to stimulate new flowers to grow. The best way to extend the season of flowering is to continually dead head every fading flower from the more tender plants in the garden.

Prune climbing roses when the flowers start to fade. If they are still growing strong, with lots of flowers, wait until next month. Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between a climbing rose and a rambling rose. Usually ramblers are the roses that flower only once, normally in June, whereas climbers repeat flower almost all summer. It’s relatively straightforward to prune climbing roses. Using a pair of sharp secateurs, firstly remove any dead or diseased wood, then prune all the side shoots from all branches to two or three buds – these will form new growth next year. If there are new shoots growing from the base, these can be tied in to form the new framework of the plant.

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