September - a late summer time of garden activity
September is often a wonderfully warm and sunny month, and the first frosts usually don’t appear until well into October or beyond – let’s hope 2021 is the same. The plentiful rain during July and early August has had the effect of producing more growth than usual on hedges and shrubs. So there’s plenty of cutting back and tidying to do. The positive side is soils which are more friable. Even heavy clays are more workable, and this is excellent news as September planting will give roots a head start as winter approaches.
If you have had a good crop of tomatoes this year, well done! Many gardeners have had major fungal problems and blight this year due to the moist conditions. Where crops are taking time to ripen, remove leaves around the fruit to let the sun help them on. Later in the month, remove any green fruits and leave to ripen on a windowsill. Talking of crops, protect apple and pear trees from winter moths by tying greasebands around the stems and any supporting posts. Now is the best time before they become active.
Lavender will become wide, wild and and woody if left unattended. Having finished flowering, trim it back to encourage the plants to bush out from the centre. If you have a row, you will then have a neatly trimmed small hedge all winter. I always find cutting them back in the spring is more risky, as new growth in warmer weather sometimes starts in February such as in 2019, but can be much later as it was this year. Keep dead-heading perennials and feeding any remaining bedding plants and you should ensure a continuing good show for most of this month.
David Hogg Buckland Nurseries