Gardening tasks for September and October

Make sure the ground is prepared well befor laying turf

Make sure the ground is prepared well befor laying turf

Days are getting shorter, nights are getting cooler. It is the time of dahlias, rudbeckias and Michaelmas daisies – the late season flowers. And still plenty to do in the garden. Now, with the ground still warm, is the best time to fix any lawn related problems and create new lawns, using either seed or turf.

September:

  • you can cut grass less often if you see it growing less vigorously,

  • give your lawn a treat by removing the thatch (dead old grass) with a metal rake or a powered de-thatcher, then feed with a special autumn feed,

  • continue deadheading, watering and feeding to prolong your floral displays,

  • take cuttings of tender perennials, such as geraniums, to give yourself free plants for next year,

  • give your evergreen hedges the final clipping of the season,

  • clear debris, weeds and excess plants out of your pond; put a net over it to catch any falling autumn leaves.

October:

  • autumn is the best time to plant new trees, shrubs and hedges,

  • and to lift and divide any overcrowded and under-performing herbaceous perennials,

  • clear away any remaining summer bedding and replace it with wallflowers, forget-me-nots, primulas, violas etc. to cheer you up early next year,

  • invest in some spring bulbs: once planted, snowdrops, daffodils or tulips can stay in the ground for years before they need any attention,

  • pick up and shred fallen leaves with the lawn mower, then add them to the compost heap.

Take advantage of nice weather to get out into the garden. Little and often, to keep on top of things and to avoid having to carry out a major overhaul later, at a time when nice days are fewer and further between.