September change in the garden is upon us. Things can quickly turn from summer blooms, to hues of oranges of autumn before winter blues. There are lots of things that can be done which will make a happier garden, with less things to do next spring and whilst it is still warm (ish) outside.
Here is our list of things to keep the garden humming along, enjoying the changing days, different light and wind down to autumn.
cut + nectar flowers
- Clear any annual flowers as they go over. Add them to your compost heap if you have one.
- Sow Viola Berry Pie to flower in about 8 weeks’ time, right the way through winter.
- Be on the lookout for seed pods to collect before they disperse if you want to save them.
- Search out for self-seeded hardy annuals and biennials such as Nigella ‘Love in a Mist’ and Poppy ‘Shirley Doubles’. If they are overcrowded where they have sprouted, move them to your preferred spot or gift to a pal in a pot.
- Now is a good time to start planting your spring bulbs. The ground will still be warm from summer months and will give the bulbs some time to put down roots before the spring sun.
- Plant pots of small bulbs like crocus, iris and muscari for a burst of spring colour. Keep watering through any dry spells but keep off the ground to avoid them sitting in water.
- Create flower bunches with late blooming flowers like salvias, echinacea, rudbeckias, sunflowers, zinnia’s and dahlias. Add a splosh of vinegar to the vase water which will keep the bacteria at bay and help them last up to a week later.
- If you have roses, pick your last bunch before they start to brown. Did you know if you sear the ends with boiling water before you arrange them to make them last as longer in the vase.
- Any bean or pea plants that have finished with their pods can be cut back. Leave the roots in the soil which will give extra food for future crops.
- Keep giving tomatoes food to chow down on until they have all finished growing ripe and delicious. If you are dealing with wet weather and little sunshine, don’t fear – just make a green tomato chutney ;-)
- Sow winter spinach and broad beans.
- Use up the last of your Radish French Breakfast seeds, the soil is still warm and wet with dew so you’ll be eating them in 4-5 weeks instead of 3.
- If the sun is shining hot in your neck of the woods keep watering your pumpkins and squash. Remember the plant will try to keep growing rather than give it to the fruit, so keep pinching out the tips. You can place a plate under any large squash to stop rot creeping in on damp soil.
- Directly sow Rocket in the ground or in pots. It might feel weird, but rocket is a great winter salad and shrugs off a bit of cold or wet.
- Cut and hang any herbs to dry for cooking over winter.
- Fresh mint can be frozen in ice cubes and just added to cooking pans as and when needed.
- Sow Coriander now, and you may be lucky to be harvesting until April next year, either directly in the ground in rows or in pots inside.
- Chives should be cut to the ground, they’ll be up again in a few weeks and fertiliser will encourage more growth.
- In pots, bring your less hardy herbs such as parsley, chives and bring inside into a sunny, frost free spot.
It’s that month when you get LOTS of harvest veggies, flowers, herbs and edible flowers from the garden. If you were a wise plum then you’ll have a plate full this year, either way we have included our links to our seed shop for next year.
Garden Greens: Kale, French Breakfast Radishes, Carrots, Rocket Salad, Buttercrunch Lettuce, Tom Thumb Peas, Spinach, Cucumbers, Courgettes, Pumpkins, Tomatoes.
Edible Flowers: Cornflowers, Chamomile and Alyssum.
Garden Herbs: All you got!
- Try to keep your garden free of fallen leaves. If you have room, you can store them in a leaf mould bag, dampen the bag and store for a year for the perfect leaf mould.
- Love your lawn? Now is the time to rake out, resurface with sand in the holes and seed. Cover with a bit of compost, cover from the birds and let it sprout.
- Keep feeding your container plants along with watering all new perennials until they are well established.
- Start planning your next year garden, perhaps take photos, make a painting. It’ll be hard to remember once it is all gone! Think about what you liked, what didn’t work and start thinking about what you would like to add next year.
- Take a trip to your favourite garden - or one of ours and think of what is growing well and what you’d like to add to your garden.
- Put out dried sunflowers and place them on the bird food table for a seed feast.