Because of the weather, very few people have been active in the garden, but September brings renewed hope for a lot of people as they plan certain tasks.
Your lawn will need continued cutting and you can apply an autumn lawn food to strengthen it for the winter. This is the best time of the year to lay lawn seed or turves. Prepare your ground well:
Spray off any unwanted weeds or foliage with Round-Up, taking care not to hit any shrubs.
Rotavate or dig over the soil well and rake it off level until you get a very even surface.
Sow at a rate of 1.5oz to the square yard or 35 gms per square metre. Use a No. 2 lawn seed mixture which has a number of different grasses in its mix: Dwarf perrenial rye, Bents and fescues.
After seeding, rake in the seed lightly with a light wire rake or leaf rake.
You may roll afterwards, but it is not advisable. If the soil is moist you will find that the soil and the seed stick to the roller or that it causes waves in the soil. Sometimes it is best to wait until the seed is up and established, say 3–4 weeks and then roll it, and you get an even surface.
If they have not been clipped already, your hedge could be trimmed now, keeping it neat for a longer period when this work is carried out just before the end of the growing season. September is a very good month to plant evergreen trees and shrubs and conifers. They still have active growth in the autumn and it helps them establish better for the winter. Spring flowering bulbs will be on sale soon in your garden centres, so as to plant out early. Hyacintas for Christmas need to be potted before the end of September. If you want Narcissi or Dwarf tulips for early flowering you must buy specially prepared bulbs. Roses that have finished flowering now could be cut back by a third to avoid them being rocked over and back by the wind.
In the vegetable garden you can lift onions and garlic and dry them off. Pot up parsley for winter use or grow it on a windowsill inside. Early apple varieties can be harvested now. Prune tayberries and loganberries now also. Spring cabbage can be planted out and strawberry runners planted out now also. Keep picking tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. as they ripen.
Indoors your house plants can stop being fed now and ease off the watering. If you don’t, you will get grey mould (Botrytis). Watch closely for pests, red spider mite, greenfly, etc. and spray with any insecticide if present.
Canon Callinan gave me a good tip for this month. He had a lovely display of sweet pea on mesh, still giving out a beautiful scent. He likes certain colours better than others and wants to collect the seed off them. When they go out of flower, it’s impossible to tell what seed pod was what colour. The trick is to tie a little bag around the flowers of the colour you like, while still in flower. When the sweet pea has gone to seed, its collected in the bag and you end up with the seed of the colours you like.
That’s it for now, happy gardening,
Bosco McDermott, Jnr.
Glynn’s Garden Centre, Lydican.