Expert gardener and Dobbies Garden Centres ambassador Huw Richards shares his top tip for the month ahead…

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

September is a month of cherishing the last of the garden gluts and the colours left over from summer before the leaves turn brown. Everything now begins to slowly wind down for winter, so it is the perfect opportunity to do a few last tasks before we hibernate from our gardens.

Plant spring-flowering bulbs

This fun job will probably make the biggest impact to your garden for the least amount of work. September is the perfect month to plant daffodil, crocus and hyacinth bulbs for gorgeous spring colour. There are so many varieties and colours available so pick your favourite and make sure they are suited for your garden; some varieties are excellent for partial shade as an example.

Create a leaf mould bin

If your garden has a few trees or you live in a suburban or rural area, then you will soon be swamped with fallen autumnal leaves. Did you know that you can slowly compost leaves to create a fantastic soil amendment which is excellent at retaining moisture? Simply use some posts and wire to create a square or circular leaf mould bin ready for filling up in October and November.

Buy garlic bulbs

Garlic is one of the most versatile vegetables for the kitchen and I can never seem to grow enough of it! It is a good idea to buy garlic bulbs for planting in September ready for October before stocks run low. Garlic bulbs should be planted in beds or large containers 5cm deep in October and November for harvests late June the following year.

Soak up the last of the sun

Summer may be over, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be some more warm sunny evenings. Stock up with your favourite cold beverages and snacks and don’t pack away your outdoor seating just yet. Remember winter is soon upon us so find any excuse to enjoy the last warmth of the year.

Order bare-rooted and perennial plants

Make sure you get your orders in for any perennial plants you wish to put in your garden this winter. It may seem early for plants you’re planning to get out next January and February, but you don’t want to be disappointed by that dreaded ‘out of stock’ stamp!

Mulch your perennial potted plants and borders

All your borders and potted plants will benefit from a light mulch before winter. Spreading a 2-3cm layer of compost over the ground will not only help the soil but also make the areas look tidier. Any form of peat-free multipurpose compost will do the trick, or you can use woodchip for a different feel.

Look after those hanging baskets

Continue to feed and deadhead your hanging baskets to prolong the flowering. Then once all flowering is over, tip the contents into a compost bin and keep them ready to replant/re-sow with more annual flowers next spring. The easiest flower I find to grow in hanging baskets are nasturtiums after the last frost.

Extra tip: Water your houseplants less

With temperatures falling and less daylight your houseplants will not need as much water. Begin to slow the frequency of watering houseplants as you move through autumn because too much water can saturate the soil and cause the roots to rot.

September is a strange time because it is caught in-between the warm and cool parts of the year and is full of change. Embrace the warm rays of the sun and the crisp mornings and always remember that those fantastic warm autumnal colours are just around the corner!