Monthly Gardening Tips - September 2022
I do hope you were able to get to the KHS Show on 27th August - a feast for the eye - and well done to organisers and exhibitors. It was certainly a challenge this year, what with the drought and pests and disease being rife!
Lawns One of the wonders of nature is that lawns and general grass areas can adapt to 40+ days without rain and within a week of good rain they have re-grown. Whilst I’m not a lawn expert my advice is to rake out the thatch if it's bad, topdress with fine bagged soil, and oversow/lightly rake in/roll at the end of the month/water it well. At this time of year the seed will germinate within a few days and establish before most leaves drop. With care you can then lightly rake and remove leaves rather than have them smother the new grass.
An alternative is to returf your lawn. Best done after leaf-fall and good rain, ideally November to February which allows the turf roots to establish before springtime.
Weeding and compost Keep on top of weeds in borders. Hoe on a dry day whilst they are small/before they set seed, then they will shrivel quickly and save you having to pick them up. If you have home-produced compost there’s no reason why you can’t then spread it between plants this month, which will free up space for autumn leaves and soft prunings which will produce next year’s compost.
Next year's flowers Many plants flower in spring on growth produced the previous year. You just need to know what to prune and when! For example: Forsythia - prune after flowering in May/June. Climbing roses - loosely tie in long new growths now to prevent breakage. Wisteria - trim back long new still green growths in late summer to within 6-8” of spurs/side shoots, and in January cut then again to 3 or 4 buds of their base, these being potential flower buds. Skilled stuff.
Winter/spring colour Already bedding plants in hanging baskets, window boxes and bowls are looking past their best. Plan ahead. Take cuttings of favourite geraniums now. Consider replacing compost (bagged) and drainage in autumn rather than spring. Or add bonemeal fertilizer, and water it well a day or so before replanting. Good luck.
And finally… does anyone know what this 2m tall purple annual is called?