Jobs for September

1. Clean out the greenhouse - By the middle of the month any crops in the greenhouse will be unlikely to ripen any further. Pick what you can then take this opportunity to clean out the greenhouse. Wipe the glass to remove any dust and dirt to maximise any light entering over the coming months. Wash the internal framework and staging, and sweep the floor of any debris to get rid of any pests and diseases. This will give you a pristine greenhouse that will be the perfect home fortender or borderline hardy plants over winter.

2. Plant spring bulbs - No garden should be without the burst of cheerful spring colour that bulbs provide. Daffodils are the classic spring bulb, but there are so many more to choose from, whether it’s muscari, scilla, ipheion, chionodoxa, leucojums or a whole range of fabulous fritillaries. And now is the perfect time to plant them. Pop them in the ground, or in pots, three times the depth of the bulb with the pointy end upwards.

3. Naturalise bulbs in grass - For a naturalistic way to grow bulbs in the garden, plant them into grass. This needs to be an area of grass that can be left to grow in late spring and early summer until all the foliage from the bulbs has died down, rather than a patch of pristine lawn. Bulbs that are ideal for naturalising include our native daffodil Narcissus pseudonarcissus, snake’s head fritillaries and crocus. Either use a trowel or abulb planter to remove a section of grass and soil, drop in the bulb, then fill the hole back up with the soil and replace the grass.

4. Look after your lawn - Now's the perfect time to get your lawn back into shape after summer. Rake out the thatch – dead grass and moss - that will have built up. Use a fork to aerate the lawn, apply a top dressing of sand to improve drainage and brush this into the holes you’ve made with the fork. Scatter a lawn fertiliser, but make sure you use an autumn fertiliser that is low in nitrogen as you don’t want to encourage lots of lush growth at this time of year.

5. Divide early-summer flowering perennials - It might be getting chilly on a morning but because soil holds on to warmth longer than air now is a great time to divide some perennials. At this time of year it’s best to divide just spring and early summer-flowering perennials that need rejuvenating, such as hardy geraniums and Alchemilla mollis. Generally these plants need dividing every 3 or 4 years. Later-flowering perennials like rudbeckia and heleniums and most grasses don’t like their roots to be disturbed at this time of year. If they need dividing they should be left until next spring.

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