5 September Garden Maintenance Tasks
September always feels like something of a transitional month, between summer and autumn.
Sometimes we are blessed with warm, sunny days that can lead us to believe that we are still in the middle of summer, but other times, we experience heavy rainfall, cooler temperatures and blustery conditions.
September is also the time of the year when we begin noticing that the days are getting shorter. We start losing minutes of daylight with every day that passes and our summer holidays are but a distant memory.
Our gardens are also beginning to die back, with growth grinding to a halt and the leaves showing the first signs of turning brown.
But for us gardeners, September continues to be a busy month in the garden.
Here is our list of 5 September garden maintenance tasks to get stuck into this month.
1. Aerate Your Lawn
September is the ideal month to be aerating your lawn.
The reason why many of us should be aerating our lawns is to help nutrients and moisture penetrate to the grass roots, as well as alleviating soil compaction. The intended result is a root that grows more deeply, creating a stronger, fuller looking lawn.
Using either a fork or a specialist spike aerator tool, you’ll need to work your way across your lawn, piercing the surface to a depth of around 50mm to 75mm.
The best time to aerate your lawn is after a rain shower, as you’ll find that the ground is easier to penetrate.
During the spring and summer months you’ll likely have been mowing your lawn at least once or twice a week, to keep on top of the rapid growth experienced at this time of the year, and with your cutting blade likely set somewhere around 60–75mm (2.5 to 3 inches) in height.
However, with autumn drawing closer, now is a good time to be raising the height of your mower blade.
If you’ve become tired of spending endless hours on maintaining your lawn without seeing the results you deserve for your labours, why not considering installing artificial grass?
It requires very little maintenance and will continue to look like a prize-winning lawn all year round, regardless of the weather conditions.
It is also completely child- and pet friendly, and can be used even during the winter months, without everything becoming covered in mud and mess.
2. Protect Ponds & Water Features from Falling Leaves
As the leaves begin to fall, those of us with ponds and water features will want to ensure that we stay on top of leaf removal duties.
It is very important at this time of the year to ensure that leaves are not left on the surface of ponds as, when they begin to decompose, they increase the amount of nutrients in the water, which can lead to excessive algae growth.
To save time and make this task a little easier, we highly recommend that you install netting over your water features and ponds to prevent leaves and other debris from settling in the water.
To further prevent excessive levels of nutrients, continue weeding your pond, as weed growth will likely have been rife throughout the summer months.
3. Fix Leaky Shed & Greenhouse Roofs
Now is a good time to be repairing any leaking roofs within your garden.
We can sometimes be lucky throughout September and receive only moderate levels of rainfall. Other years, however, we can experience heavy and persistent rainfall.
Even if we are lucky enough to experience an Indian summer, the likelihood is that heavy rainfall isn’t too far away.
This means that you should be looking to repair any damage to both your shed and greenhouse roofs before the heavy autumn rain sets in.
We’re big fans of recycling water and one of the best ways to catch rainfall is to install water butts on downpipes from your house, garage, shed or greenhouse. So, if you don’t already have one, you can pick one up from your local garden centre or DIY centre. They’re inexpensive, and quick and easy to install, too.
4. Plant Spring Bulbs
In may seem counter-intuitive, but September is the best time of the year to plant bulbs ready for flowering next spring.
Tulips, snowdrops and, of course, daffodils are best planted at this time of the year, as this is when the bulbs are in a dormant state.
When it comes to planting, the more the merrier, and you should be aiming for clumps of a minimum of six bulbs. For maximum effect and a colourful spring display, 30–-50 bulbs are recommended.
Prior to planting, discard any rotten looking bulbs or any that feel soft.
To plant, dig a hole around two to three times the depth of the bulb and position them with the nose facing upwards. Space them at least the width of two bulbs apart.
Soil can then be backfilled and gently firmed, using the back of a rake. Try to avoid walking on them, as this can potentially damage the bulbs.
If the soil is already moist, they won’t need watering in. If, however, the soil is dry, grab your watering can and give them a soak.
Your hard work will be seen to have been well worth the effort next year when you are rewarded with a fantastic display of colour.
5. Divide Herbaceous Perennials
September is the ideal time of the year to be dividing your herbaceous perennials to ensure that they will remain healthy for the coming year, whilst also providing the obvious opportunity to increase the number of perennials in your garden.
Division can normally be carried out at most times of the year, but September is the time when they are most dormant, therefore it provides the ideal opportunity.
The first step is to gently lift out your plants using a garden fork. To avoid damaging the roots, we recommend that you work your way outwards from the stem.
Once removed from the soil, you can then carefully break apart the plant. Some small plants, such as hostas, can be pulled into small clumps that can then be replanted. Larger perennials, such as day lilies, may need the help of a second fork to prise them from the soil.
You may also need to use a knife, spade or axe to break apart crowns and fleshy roots.
Once done, you’ll help to ensure that those perennials continue to grow vigorously over the coming years and increase your plant numbers at the same time, too.
During September it’s important to make the most of any warmer temperatures we are blessed with before we’re faced with the inevitable morning frosts and freezing temperatures.
It is also a good time to make the most of the daylight as, before we know it, it will be dark both when we leave home in the morning and when we get back at night.
We hope that our September maintenance tasks will keep your garden up to scratch throughout early autumn and into the winter months.
If there is anything you think we’ve missed from this month’s list, let us know by joining the discussion and leaving us a comment below.
Thanks for reading and we’ll see you next month with our October instalment.
Don’t forget to check out our garden maintenance guides for the other months of the year: