September is beautiful for a whole host of reasons. The falling leaves that change our landscape and become crisp underfoot, the cooler evenings and the refreshing mornings, the children going back to school and giving us all some peace… September is a month of great change in the world around us, but it’s also a time when we need to get back on our knees and do some vital garden chores.
The ‘W’ Word
None of us look forward to mentioning the ‘W’ word, but with November within our sights on the calendar – we need to start thinking about it. Anything left in the garden over the colder months can be detrimental to your soil quality and you might have an uphill struggle when you come to the following spring. Make sure you harvest the last of your vegetables, even those with are not quite ripe enough yet. Pick them and bunch them into brown paper bags. If you keep them in the right environment (no heat or moisture) – they will naturally ripen. Collect any fallen crop from the ground and pull out the spent producers. If you’re a compost/manure user, spread it during autumn. It needs time to bed into the soil and now is the perfect time to lay it.
Any house plants that you has been cultivating outside need bringing back in. They’ve had their warm summer, their fresh air and share of the elements – but bring them back in now to protect and enjoy them. Remember that their primary habitat is indoors, so they’re particularly vulnerable to insect threats. Check them over for any sign of damage or infestation and rectify as necessary. Remember to help them adjust to life back inside by moving them to a shadier area of the garden for a couple of days, this will prepare them for the lack of natural light indoors. Don’t worry if they drop a few more leaves or start wilting once they’re back in – they should bounce back when they adjust.
Your lawn will get less TLC during the winter. Lots of rain, snow and frost, less sunlight and almost no mowing = an unhappy lawn. Take the time to prepare it now by aerated the soil if it has become compacted from summer usage. This will help it withstand being flooded and should improve drainage, it will also allow the roots some more oxygen. Any worn patches which need re-seeding should be done yesterday; the earlier the better.
A lot of trees and shrubs will enter dormancy during the winter and autumn is your chance to make sure that they stay hydrated. Get one step ahead of the frost and water your trees (particularly evergreens) generously now to ensure that they’re well hydrated throughout the colder months. Prune out any dead or damaged wood to make sure they remain healthy, but don’t do any hard pruning.