September Lawn Jobs
If September is dry, unless you have had drought all summer, you can get away without watering it, but if you do water then make sure you give it a good dose at a time, half an inch on two separate days in the week is probably best. Using a sprinkler is considered anti-social in some area, as well as being expensive if you are on a water meter. Think about just watering the part of your lawn that the children use. The grass will not die; it will grow again in a few weeks time, when the rain starts again.
At least if there is no rain you will not have to cut the grass. Even if there is you can reduce the frequency of cutting in September. If there is rain then think about putting down an autumn (fall) lawn fertilizer and weed killer.
Use a strimmer or edging shears to tidy up the edges and around trees.
Hedges in September
Towards the end of September cut back any fast growing hedges such as hawthorn. This will be the final cut of the year. Cut it well back, but avoid being too aggressive, because growth will slow right down until next spring and any hard pruning you do will leave holes over the winter.
Give your Honeysuckle hedges a light trim, just cut off any straggly bits.
This is the month when your electric chipper and chain saw really come in useful. If you have any major pruning jobs to do, plan to do them in September. Put any large branches to one side. You will not be able to use them as firewood this winter; they need to dry out before they will burn.
Put any small branches through the chipping machine and you will have a material for use as a mulch anywhere you want to keep weeds down.
Roses in September
Your roses will be slowing right down in September. Cut flowers for the house because they will soon be gone. You do not need to worry about cutting them at an outward facing bud any more because growth will stop very soon anyway.
Pull away any very strong growing 7-leaflet stems that are growing up from soil level. These are growing from the 'wild' roots and not the cultivated rose. They will not flower and just sap the plant's energy.
Cut off dead flowers and any buds that are rotting. Put all these into your compost, rather than just letting them drop untidily to the ground. Leave flowers of varieties that will form ornamental rose hips.
Black spot is your biggest enemy, even in September. Spray with liquid copper fungicide as a preventative measure. Cut off any affected parts now, while the leaves are still on and you know which ones have a black spot infection. Burn these black spot affected roses and do not compost them or drop them on the ground because that will give you more of the same trouble next year.
Soft fruit in September
Raspberries continue to fruit until the end of September, so keep the anti-bird netting in place.
September is probably the best month to make summer pudding with the glut of raspberries you will have to go with any blackcurrants you froze a few months ago. If you have no strawberries they are cheap in September.
Nurture any strawberry runners that appear and they will give you extra strawberry plants next year.
September Vegetable Jobs
Your tomatoes will still be fruiting. Put nets over cherry varieties to prevent birds eating them. Continue to watch for black spot and spray with the fungicide, liquid copper, if any appears. Cut off and burn any black spot affected parts of the plants.
Cut down any peas and beans that have finished, but leave the roots in the soil, they will continue to add nitrogen to the soil, even after the tops are cut down.
Tidy up the vegetable patch and remove any weeds.
All vegetable tops and unused parts can be composted.
Shrubs in September
Cut off any dead flowers. You can save the seeds to sow in spring of many shrubs to increase your stock. Potentillas are very easy to grow this way. Collect a few berries from any shrubs that produce them, just plant the berries in a bucket of used compost and see what happens. If you are lucky, you will have seven or eight tiny shrubs that you can nurture and bring on.
Climbers – September Jobs
Ease back on the watering of any climbers that you are growing in pots or planters. Cut off any dead heads and remove any leaf litter from around the base of these plants.
Annuals – September Jobs
You have a choice here.
The wildlife friendly option is to leaf all the dead flower stems where they are over the winter. If you do this, be sure to remove any weeds that have sprung up amongst your annuals, preferably before the weed seed heads develop.
If you want to tidy up all the dead plants then be sure to collect any seed heads first. You can collect seeds from marigolds, antirrhinums and many annuals. If the seeds you grew were of F1 hybrids then the seed will not grow the same, but will still grow and you will still get flowers, but they will not have the F1 hybrid features.
General September Garden Jobs
Rake up any leaves, as they fall, especially on lawn areas. Leaves that collect here stop light reaching the grass and moss will tend to grow instead. Leaf blowers are next to useless unless the leaves and ground are bone dry. Most experts advise that you store leaves separately from general compost becasue they need different conditions to rot down.
September is usually the last dry month you will have to cut any firewood. Set yourself a target of doing a certain amount each day. Only cut up timber that has been cut since last autumn. This wood has dried out and most of its sap has gone, so it will burn well. The environmentally friendly way of cutting timber is with an axe or a hand saw, use a bow saw, it's a lot easier than you think and is good exercise.