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.

Wednesday 3 September 2014

This Month in your Garden – September

A new canvas for next year

And so we mellow into autumn of which Edwin Teale said: For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad.

There are of course still lovely flowers in bloom, colours and textures to take us into the next season, a new canvas we can create with shrubs, climbers, hardy perennials, pot-grown trees and spring bulbs we can plant.

Evergreen hedges can be planted and it’s time to take cuttings of bedding plants before the first frosts. Tender perennials need preparing, cuttings of these to be taken to over-winter for next year.

Lawn Care Guide – September

What lies beneath?

What has been happening beneath the lawn through a summer of use, dry periods, heavy rains, whatever we and the weather have thrown at it? Soil compaction is likely and the roots need air. If it’s not too damp now would be a good time to hook the scarifier onto the garden tractor or buy or hire a walk-behind to deal with the accumulation of thatch which is potentially harbouring disease while preventing fresh growth.

Conditions can’t always be perfect for scarifying but you don’t want the grass either too wet or too dry. If in doubt wait until later in the month or early October but before it really does get too damp. Cut the grass first. Don’t be deterred by the effect of scarifying, it’s simply lifting out all that dead material.

This Month's Top Tip – September

Q. We have lots of poppies in our garden of all types and the leaves turn brown but the flowers are alright, are we doing anything wrong?

The Vegetable Plot – September

All set to go

Planting time for autumn onion sets so you can be ahead of the game next year and harvesting in June to July. Choose varieties like Radar and Unwin’s First Early Mature which has a rounded shape and lovely, high quality yellow skin which is great for storing.

Plant 8cm (3”) apart in drills. Maincrop onions should be ripe for harvesting now as well as potatoes and you can remove leaves on outdoor tomatoes that are covering the fruit to let the sun ripen them off.

The Big Glut Recipe – September

Dash off a lamb dhansak and dine in

This Ainsley Harriott inspired dhansak is a perennial winner and made in next to no time. It has become a mainstay alternative to dining out or taking away and is probably a lot healthier, serving four, or two with two for the freezer. Great for butternut squash you’ve grown or simply pick one up when you shop. 

  • 500g/1lb 2oz cubed lamb
  • 2tbsp garam masala
  • 30-45ml/2/3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 onions thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves thinly sliced