As August rolls into September the weather has taken on an autumnal feel. The evenings, which are now drawing in quicker than ever, have a definite chill in the air and the morning dew is quite apparent on the grass before the sun rises and melts it away.
Our gardens have had a particularly hard summer this year with long periods of drought and scorching sunshine for weeks on end resulting in brown lawns and a low yield on certain fruits and vegetables. But with the change of seasons we’ve had a change of weather and hopefully your lawn is turning green once again and your vegetable crops are reviving themselves.
If you’re planning on spending some time in the garden, here are a few jobs you can start as the autumn season gets underway.
Even without stormy weather, the leaves will start to fall. To get ahead of the game (and more importantly to avoid some back breaking work in a few months’ time) it’s a good idea to start raking them up. Instead of tipping your leaves into your green recycling bin, why not make leaf mould a great way to make an invaluable soil conditioner.
Visit the RHS website for details of how to make leaf mould – https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=478
If you like showing off your gorgeous plantation shutters with window boxes, now may be the time to get rid of any old summer bedding plants and plant some winter ones instead. Buying the plants now will probably save you money as they notoriously cheaper at this time of year when people are still enjoying the remnants of their summer blooms! Planting them now will also give them ample time to bed down before the winter weather arrives.
Seeds and Deadheading
If you like growing your plants from scratch, make sure you take advantage of those plants in your garden that have started to seed. Both annual and perennial plants can be grown from seed as long as the seeds have been stored correctly throughout the winter. You can get more information on harvesting seeds and how to keep them by visiting the Gardeners World website: https://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/grow-plants/how-to-collect-and-save-seeds/
With the weather on the turn we’ll soon be in the throes of winter but make sure you don’t get complacent during the next few days as the UK enjoys a small Indian Summer. With daytime temperatures still nice and warm it’s easy to assume the nights are too but don’t be caught out. Scotland has already seen temperatures drop down to 6 degrees. Keep an eye out for early frosts so that you can cover or bring in any tender plants to protect them.
It’s hard to think of next spring when we still have two seasons to go but if you would like to see some blooms in spring, now’s the time to get planting! By the end of September make sure you have planted your spring-flowering bulbs like daffodils, crocus and hyacinths. Tulips can wait until November and hardy flowering plants like lilies and crocosmia can be planted in September and October.