September and October are two of the less busy months in the gardening calender… [cue sigh of relief from all you busy gardeners, after the effort of keeping your garden in tip-top bbq-ready condition throughout the summer months!!]
September is a transition month between summer and autumn, with the summer chores winding down and not so much work to be done. Yippeeeeee!…. but then October marks the real start of autumn, and that means a time for tidying up.
And if you thought we were ever going to let you off that lightly… (whatever next!) … late September and October are great times for planting, so absolutely no excuse for putting your feet up, even if you have finished clearing up all the leaves!!
Now is a great time to plan planting of container grown trees and shrubs, perennials (especially winter and spring flowering species), and spring bulbs. Start the actual planting from the end of September. The end of October is also the start of the bare root season – with roses, trees and hedging becoming available in garden centres.
And here are a few more bits and pieces to keep you busy too:
- Keep deadheading perennials like Penstemons, and also annuals, and shrubs including roses. This will keep them flowering for as long as possible
- Start dividing herbaceous perennials
- Mow lawns less frequently, scarify lightly if necessary, and apply an autumn feed (read our lawn calendar & lawn care activities blog posts)
- Net ponds before leaves start falling
- Pick soft fruit (& don’t forget all that wild fruit too – blackberries, damsons, elderberries to name a few)
- Plant spring bulbs
- Sit out and enjoy an Indian Summer – if we get one!
- Plant and move trees and shrubs (and spring flowering perennials)
- Clear leaves, especially from lawns
- Cut back and tidy herbaceous perennials
- Divide perennials to propagate
- Scarify lawns if necessary
- If the weather is dry, water spring flowering shrubs like Camellias and Rhododendrons – to ensure that the flower buds develop fully