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September Garden Tips

Garden work for September.

Flower garden

Deadhead penstemons, dahlias and other perennials to keep them flowering

If there is a dry spell, which can often happen in September, make sure that plants are watered as this reduces the risk of diseases such as powdery mildew.

Continue to give a liquid feed, such as Tomorite, to patio plants and hanging baskets.

Now is the time to divide perennials like phlox, hemerocallis and hardy geraniums.

Evergreens should be planted now whilst the soil is still warm.  It also gives them plenty of time to establish themselves before winter sets in.

Continue to make sure that your camellias and rhododendrons are well watered to ensure that they have well-formed flowering buds.

Thinking of Christmas, now is the time to start the specially prepared hyacinth bulbs by putting them into damp compost, in a shady cool place.  Other cultivars for Christmas should not be started until October, unless you want them a bit earlier.

Vegetables

If you want early onions, now is the time to plant autumn onion sets such as ‘Radar’, ‘Troy’ and ‘Swift’.

Lift squashes off the ground to aid ripening and to stop them getting ruined by rain and dampness.

Where you have collected your vegetable crop, start digging the bare ground and add in well-rotted manure for most crops.  Where you plan to have carrots it is best to leave adding in FYM otherwise the roots are likely to get fangy.

Dig up any remaining potatoes before they succumb to late blight or the slugs damage them.

New strawberry plants should be put in to get them established.  Aim to replace about one-third of the plot each year.

Check whether apples are ready to pick by placing the fruit in the palm of your hand and lifting slightly while giving a twist.  If it does not come away easily it is not ready for picking.

Cut out any remaining raspberry canes that fruited last year.

Remove shading from the greenhouse to aid the ripening of late tomatoes and aubergines.

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