The bulb planting season is upon us again! The soil is still warm but is becoming increasingly moist, so now is the time to plan ahead and start planting for spring. There is still plenty of time to buy your spring flowering bulbs and planting is ideal throughout September and October. For Tulips, hold off until October/November for best results.
Harvest Fruit Trees
September is the key month for your fruit tree harvest. Various varieties of apples, pears and plums ripen throughout September. The optimum harvest date varies with the size, variety and geographical area. Pears can be picked whilst firm but don't be tempted to pick your apples too early, you can gauge their ripeness by gently twisting them as a ripe apple will easily part from the spur.
We're on our way out of summer now and your greenhouse will soon become an essential escape for your tender plants during the bad weather. You could even think about fitting some insulation to protect against the cold nights ahead. Remember however that summer weather can sometimes extend right into early autumn, and September can sometimes hold particularly hot days, so keep a watch for these. Ensure your greenhouse is well ventilated during the day, whilst warmth is trapped during the evening.
Now could also be the perfect time to take the opportunity to tidy and organise your greenhouse so there's room to accommodate new additions. The glass may need a good clean and you should check all plants for any signs of pests and treat immediately. Also be aware of any pests that may get a free ride on your plants as you begin to bring them indoors.
The damp weather and cooler temperatures can be a great environment for disease. Be on the lookout for signs of mildew and rust and burn any diseased plants to prevent them from spreading to the rest of your plants.
It is very easy to neglect your garden when it starts to die back, but the usual garden maintenance tasks are still necessary. Pruning plants, dead-heading and clearing up are great jobs to keep on top of. You can prolong your hanging baskets right through to mid-autumn simply by continuing the routine of deadheading, watering and feeding. The same is true for plants such as Dahlias and Delphiniums - a bit of colour from these plants can really add character to your garden in September when the rest of your summer display is dying back.It won't be long until it's too wet to cut the grass, so make sure you take advantage of the few dry days we have left to tidy up your lawn. You should be mowing less frequently and raising the height of your blades, but its still important to keep this up. Any autumn Crocus and Cyclamen you've planted previously will soon be flowering and you will want the grass cut before they emerge.
It may be optimistic, but the summer weather could last into early September. Until the usual down pour continues, make sure you keep watering up your plants as they still need this even when they're passed their growth stage. Even during rainy weather, always check the base of your plant is damp to ensure they're getting enough water.If you have a pond, it may be a good idea to cover the surface now with netting as the leaves begin to fall. If not, make sure you are regularly clearing debris as this will reduce dangerous algae growth.