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Wednesday 1 September 2021

This Month in Your Garden - September

"Happily we bask in this warm September sun, which illuminates all creatures..." - Henry David Thoreau 

There is a certain change of light in early autumn that complements shades of red, burgundy and orange russets. They draw the eye and appear nearer, while cool colours give a more distant, calming effect. Annuals and bedding plants give you an endless palette of colours to work with. But as summer fades into autumn, we edge nearer to the first frosts when tender perennials are at risk. 

Pelargoniums, fuchsias, marguerites, petunias, osteospermums, diascias and abutilons are unlikely to survive over winter. If you have no way of keeping them safe under glass until spring, you can take cuttings and plant them up in cuttings compost or make your own using equal parts of peat-free compost and vermiculite. Kept in a shaded frame for a few weeks to root. 

They can be potted into 8cm (3in) pots. Bring them inside into a conservatory or room at the first sign of frost and keep them at 7°C (45°F). Best not to put them on a windowsill where they could get cold, rather, keep them on a table near a window, but where you can draw curtains at night. In February, they can be moved into a warmer area and you can start feeding them a liquid fertiliser. 

Other tender perennials need care to get them through winter. Dahlias can be left until the frost blackens the foliage. Then dig up the tubers, trim off the stems and stand them upside down to drain. After about a week, they can be packed in cardboard boxes and stored in a cool greenhouse or spare frost-free area or room.  

  • Overhaul borders and plant new perennials
  • Divide and re-plant old perennials and herbs
  • Collect seeds from flower heads seed pods
  • Prune deciduous trees, shrubs and evergreen hedges
  • Take hardwood cuttings
  • Transplant any trees and perennials you want to move
  • Rotavate or dig borders and work in manure
  • Plant spring bulbs, daffodils, crocus, Anemone, but wait until November to plant tulips

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