September is here and summer is beginning to fade away; the sunlight has a faded quality to it and the nights are starting to draw in earlier. As autumn begins its annual reign, setting foliage ablaze with colour, now is the time to start planning for both winter and spring.
Whilst the memory of summery picnics on the lawn is still fresh in your mind, now is the time to start putting some work into making sure that next year your lawn is as green and lush as can be. Over summer, debris and moss will have built up on the surface of your lawn which, if left, can leave the grass starved of air and vulnerable to disease. Raking and scarifying your lawn now will remove any thatch, leaving your lawn open and free to breathe!
September sees the start of the apple picking season, and early varieties can be eater straight away when they’re fresh and crisp. To check their ripeness, cup a still-attached apple in the palm of your hand and gently lift upwards. If it detaches easily, it’s ripe for the picking!
REMOVE YOUNG WEEDS AND TREE SEEDLINGS
Get on top of weeds in your flower beds and veg patches now and you’ll stand a pretty good chance of stopping them returning next year. Pinch out by hand, or using a trowel, before they set seed. Look out for tree seedling as well that have either self-seeded or been planted by hoarding squirrels, and remove before they become too deep-rooted.
PLACE NETTING OVER PONDS
Fallen leaves dropping into ponds over autumn will turn the water brown and add to the mucky sludge that collects at the bottom. Dead plant matter also causes a build up of methane as it rots down, which can be dangerous to the animal life overwintering in your pond. Placing a net over your pond will help to catch any falling leaves and prevent any damage to your pond’s ecosystem. Regularly collect the leaves from the top of the netting, and add to your compost bin.
PLANT ONION SETS
Plant out onion sets now, ready for harvesting in June. Onions like to grow in firm ground, so weed and forth through the surface then tread down to consolidate the soil. Make a drill deep enough to sit the onion sets in, with just the papery tops above the surface, then rake the soil over the top and firm gently, leaving only the tips showing above ground.
NATURALISE SPRING BULBS IN GRASS
Growing naturalistic swathes of spring bulbs in your lawn is a quick and easy way to inject some colour into the early spring garden. Make sure you choose bulbs that are suited to your garden’s conditions’ crocuses and scillas do well in open areas, whereas snowdrops and cyclamen are good under trees. To ensure the bulbs continue to flower year after year, make sure they are planted at the correct depth – roughly three times the bulb’s height.
PLANT HYACINTHS FOR CHRISTMAS
Prepared hyacinth bulbs can now be planted for flowering at Christmas. Plant closely together for the best display, taking care that the bulbs don’t touch each other. Place the bulbs on the compost, pointed end up, and fill around them with more compost. Firm down and water well to settle the soil. Make sure that your wear gloves when handling hyacinth bulbs, as they can cause an allergic reaction.