September is a Roman month which comes from the Latin Septem “seven” for the seventh month in the oldest recorded Roman Calender.
When January and February were added years later it became the ninth month as it is today.
The month retained its name and was not changed.
The Anglo Saxons referred to the month as Gerstmonath, the barley month, being when the crop was harvested.
September for the gardener can be a marvellous month.
The high heat of summer has started to fade and the air takes on a fresher feel.
Very often this month has a Indian summer if high pressure weather passes over the country which can last well into the October.
If we do get those sunny clear days, the nights cool down and there is a heavy dew the next morning.
An indication that misty mornings are going to be more frequent and in Northern counties frost in the early morning may not be far off.
This is a fruitful month, apples, pears and lots of vegetables are ready for harvest and for some storing over the winter for use when the garden becomes a bit less productive.
There is plenty to do this month and with the shorter days which everyone will notice.
It is time to get going and keep up with jobs as you need to.
This is the month to start taking cuttings from tender perennials such as fuchsias, pelargoniums geraniums.
It is a good time to increase stock of your plants and the results of starting early will give you larger plants for the next spring.
If you’re lucky enough to have a greenhouse you might like to try some of the alpine plants which don’t mind cold but do not like to be wet over the winter giving you an early display of colour in the following year.
Any frost, tender plants will need to be lifted towards the end of the month and popped in the greenhouse or a frost free shed for protection over the winter.
Summer bedding can still look good with regular dead heading of faded blooms and removal of any unwanted seed pods.
This can often lengthen the flowering period until any sharp frosts will stop the colourful display.
Be on the look-out for the disease of mildew which will love the cooler damp conditions and can cause damage very quickly.
Also botrytis can be troublesome in the greenhouse, try and keep good ventilation on sunny days which always helps keep it at bay.
If you have your onions drying for winter storage make sure there in a dry spot so early morning dew does not wet them.
Later in the month garden centres will have a large selection of spring flowering bulbs available for planting.
So it will be Time to start lifting and disposing of any faded summer bedding to make way for the planting of these for colour in the spring. Which will still seem a long way off.
If you have a spot to leave things a little untidy why not provide a nice warm place for the gardeners friend the hedgehog to hibernate over winter safe and warm.
If you have space in an out of the way spot for making your own compost is a great way to dispose of all those summer bedding and veg scraps from the kitchen, Which will give you a great soil conditioner for free and will save you trips to the recycling centre which often is quite a distance away.
Take a note book into the garden and write notes on what you planted where and what was successful and what was not so when you start planning next year’s floral display you can refer back and alter things if need be.
It is always good to keep a record of how the year progressed.
There are still plenty of days to be in the garden either working and tidying or
Sitting in a warm sun lit spot with a cup of tea or coffee enjoying the days fresh feel.
Star plants to be on the look-out this month are Agapanthus ‘Blue Giant’, Clematis Vitecella, Eryngium x tripartitum a prickly perennial with sea green foliage, Ornamental grasses such as Stipa gigantea, Lagurus ovatus, Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ to name a few..
JOBS FOR THE MONTH.
Clear autumn debris to prevent pest and diseases over wintering.
Start planting new trees and shrubs.
Divide large clumps of perennials.
Plant spring flowering bulbs and biennials such as wallflower and sweet William.
Remove summer bedding in containers and replace with spring bedding.
Net over the pond to catch falling leaves.
Sow grass seed or lay new turf for new lawns.
Lift tender plants for overwinter protection from winter frost.
Harvest apples and pears and pick any autumn fruit.
Scarify and aerate the lawn to help reduce moss build up over the winter.
Start lifting main crop potatoes for frost free storage over winter.
Prune climbing roses when flowers fade.
Sow winter crops such as winter lettuce and Japanese onion sets for spring use.
Clear and dig over any heavy clay type soils before the on-set on the wet winter weather.
The above is just some of the jobs to be doing this month.
Let’s get out there and enjoy what usually is a great month to continue gardening and start planning for next season.