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What To Do In The Garden In September

Dead-head Roses
As autumn approaches you will need to deadhead your roses more and more regularly. Cut off each spent flower head as and when you spot them. On floribunda varieties, wait until all of the flowers on the stem have passed and cut it off at the base (where it meets the branch).

Leave old flower heads on rose varieties that produce attractive hips. Not only will they add extra colour to the garden in the winter, but they’re a good food source for garden birds such as Tits, Thrushes and Blackbirds at a time when food is otherwise scarce.

Rake Fallen Apples
Fallen apples soon start to rot on the floor and can cause an unsightly mess. Rake them up and put them on the compost heap before they get too sticky and attract wasps.

Cut Back Perennials
Many varieties, such as Asters, Chrysanthemums and Delphiniums continue to show their flowers well into the autumn – those that still look good should be left until they’re well and truly finished, others that have started to die back should be cut right down to 2 – 3 inches above ground level.

Some Perennials, such as Echinacea, Acanthus, Eryngium and Honesty produce attractive seed heads, after flowering and produce a stunning show through the winter. Plants that you keep for seed heads over the winter can be cut back in January instead.

Collect Seeds from Summer Flowering Perennials
Hollyhocks, Digitalis and Poppies are great examples of plants that produce fantastic seed heads that can be collected and sown for flowers the next year. Snip off all of the seed heads that you will need and keep them in a cool dry place for the winter. Towards the end of winter (January – February) your seed heads will have dried out so you can easily remove the seeds and sow them. Sow indoors and grow on until spring when they can be planted out.

Fork Over Beds and Borders
Because so much time is spent working on your beds and borders at this time of year, the soil can become quite compacted. Give your beds and borders a good tilth and help improve drainage by lightly forking over the soil surface.

Remove Unwanted Ivy and Creeper
Once plants like Ivy and Virginia Creeper get going they can put on an enormous amount of growth in very little time at all. There is nearly always Creeper that is surplus to requirements at this time of year so now’s the time to pull it away from walls, windows and fences where it’s not wanted.

Cover the Pond with Netting
Be prepared for autumn leaf fall and put a fine net over your pond. If leaves are allowed to fall into the pond they will cause a build-up of sediment that can make your pond cloudy. Secure the net with pegs or rocks, every time it begins to sag under the weight of the leaves it can be lifted and emptied.

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