The Gardener's Journal is a free monthly gardening guide delivered direct to your inbox.

Each month, receive tips on the top jobs needed in your garden as well as a wealth of information on a range of gardening topics. From sowing seeds to picking fruit, each month get access to information on the care and maintenance of your flowerbeds, vegetable plot and lawn. As with your own gardening diary, the journal is split into separate sections, each covering a different area of garden care.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

This Month in your Garden – September

Your new lawn is ready to be sown if you did the preparation last month. Time to exercise those muscles with some digging, rotovating and working manure into the borders. There are spring bulbs to be planted and seeds to be collected.

Many seeds will keep happily in brown envelopes somewhere dry and cool, for sowing next year. Time to tidy up and hoe out weeds, stake dahlias and take cuttings. There are plenty of tender perennials that, having been grown as summer annuals, all too often get dug up and consigned to the compost heap. Marguerites, osteospermums, fuchsias, pelargoniums to name a few can provide cuttings which can be potted, put into a cold frame to harden off and then brought indoors before the first frosts. Kept inside through the winter you can have young plants next spring to plant out in May to June.

Top Tip for September

Store dahlias over winter by lifting them when the first frost blackens their foliage. Trim the old stems
off the tubers then let them stand upside down for a week to drain off. Pack them into wooden or cardboard boxes and store in a cold greenhouse or indoors.

The Lawn Care Guide – September

September into October is a good time to scarify the lawn and lift the dead grass, moss and rubbish that causes thatch to accumulate. If the ground is too wet, wait for a drier spell. If it’s very dry wait until there has been some rain, let it dry out a little and the start. It may be that holding on until October is better depending on your location. The other time of the year to scarify is around March.

The Vegetable Plot – September

You can move spring cabbage sown in Mid-July to the plot where they will mature, ideally where you have just lifted onions or potatoes. Plan your next crop of onions by planting autumn onion sets between now and early November. They will benefit from application of fertilizer, about half you would use in summer. There is still time to plant rooted strawberry runners where they are to fruit.

The Big Glut Recipe – September

Scallops with vermouth sauce

A simple to make dish for four people, using garden vegetables and herbs, there are all sorts of variations on this theme using just the shallots, vermouth and cream to this rather grander version.


  • 500g/1lb Jerusalem Artichokes, peeled
  • 16 scallops, halved
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt & black pepper
  • 50g/2oz butter
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 125g/4oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp tarragon, freshly chopped
  • 1 tbsp parsley, freshly chopped
  • 75ml/3 fl oz dry vermouth
  • 250ml/8fl oz single cream
  • A side salad if you wish, some crusty bread, and keep a box of long cook’s matches to hand