Garden inspiration

garden flowers including a large yellow sunflower

Tasks to Keep You Busy in the September Garden

September is a wonderful month for gathering the harvest and watching rich autumnal colours develop. Whilst 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 the best time for planting as the temperature remains warm but the ground becomes nicely moist with heavy dews. This means 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.

There is much pleasure to be had pottering about among plants on a fine summer’s evening. However, a garden can easily become an overwhelming chore when one is assailed with a long list of tasks, making it impossible to simply relax and enjoy your outside space.

sunflower against evening sky

white log with a green trophy in the centre and the words "RHS Award of Garden merit" around the edgeIf you feel you’re spending too long maintaining your garden, there are ways to save time – with the key to success being appropriate planting. Choose plants that are suitable for the conditions in your garden and that will not require too much ‘fussing’ to survive. Every year, the Royal Horticultural Society produces a list of plants that have earned an Award of Gardening Merit, a seal of approval that the plant is reliable. When seeking new plants in the garden centre, look for the symbol of a green cup on the label as an indication that the plant is tried-and- tested. Remember that small plants will often grow quite large, so allow enough space for spread.

Most plants grown from bulbs are cost effective and require very little maintenance. At this time of year, there is a plethora of bulbs to choose from. Plant them where they are to flower and wait for the show to begin next spring.

flower bulbs

One of the most time-consuming maintenance jobs in the September garden is keeping on top of the weeds and, after all the rain we’ve had this year, many of our more common weeds have thrived. Even the most avid gardener is loath to spend all day on hands and knees pulling out weeds. The best way to prevent annual weeds from germinating is to use a mulch, which is basically a cover for the open soil. It can be bark chippings, gravel, shingle or other decorative stone chippings. Mulching has the added benefit of retaining moisture in the soil, reducing the amount of watering required.

succulent plants with gravel around them

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