After a long, hot summer, it’s time to catch up on gardening jobs this September
With slightly cooler temperatures, September is one of our favourite months for working in the garden. It’s a month of tidying, harvesting and planning for the following year. Here is our list of gardening jobs for September.
We have three gnarly pear trees in our garden. One is a Conference pear, and they will not be ready to pick until October into November. To be honest, we have no idea what variety the other two are, but come September they ready to harvest. Pears benefit from a period of storage, so should be harvested before they are fully ripe and stored in a cool, dark place until they are ready to eat. They won’t take long!
Plant spring flowering bulbs.
This is my absolute favourite September gardening job! Whilst the soil is still warm, September is the perfect month to plant bulbs which will flower early next year. Shelves in shops are now bulging with an array of spring flowering bulbs to tempt you, including Winter aconite, Alliums, Tulips and Iris reticulata. You can find our suggestions for spring flowering bulbs here
Continue to dead-head flowers and collect seeds.
This is an ongoing task and with regular dead-heading flowers such as Dahlia, Rudbeckia hirta and Aster frikartii will bloom well into October. As well as brightening up the Autumn garden, these flowers will provide an important source of late season nectar to butterflies, bees and other pollinators. When other flowers such as Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’, Nicotiana sylvestris, and Verbena bonariensis come to an end, leave their flower heads in place and once dried, collect their seeds to sow next year.
Help squashes to ripen.
Squashes need to be harvested before the first frosts arrive. To help them to fully mature remove any leaves which are sheltering them from the sun. If it is raining where you are, it is also advisable to place a piece of slate or wood under each squash to raise them off the wet soil to prevent them from rotting.
Cut down peas and beans.
When you have harvested the last of your peas and beans cut the the plants down but leave their roots in the soil. As the roots break down, they will release nitrogen into the soil making this part of your vegetable patch perfect for sowing brassicas in next year.
Sow hardy annuals.
Some annuals benefit from being sown now and overwintered in a warm place. Sowing these seeds in September in your greenhouse or polytunnel will give you more robust plants and earlier flowers next year. Seeds you can sow in September include; Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’, Linaria purpurea and Scabiosa atropurpurea.
Help tomatoes to ripen.
With Autumn but a few weeks away, we still have plenty of green tomatoes on our plants. To help your tomatoes to ripen pinch out any side shoots and remove any yellowing leaves. This will encourage the plant to put all its efforts into ripening the fruits. You can read more about ripening tomatoes in our earlier blog here.
This last gardening job for September is actually one that we never do here at Le Jardin Perdu and it’s important for me to explain why. Many perennials such as Hosta, Astilbe, Hemerocallis and Agapanthus can be split in autumn. Although we do need to desperately divide many of our perennials, we always leave this job until March or April. Le Jardin Perdu is situated almost 800m high in the hills of the Millevache Natural Regional Park. Winters here can be very harsh and cold. Temperatures often dip towards -8c at night (and lower) and snow can cover the garden for weeks on end. By dividing our perennials in Autumn we would run the risk of the plants not having time to re-establish themselves before winter arrives, and as a result dying. If you live in a warmer climate than we do, then you are safe to divide your perennials now.
There are lots of gardening jobs to do in September, and we’d love to know what you have planned, please do leave your comments in the box below.
September 9, 2016 @ 4:35 pm Our French Oasis
Like with you our leaves are starting to turn and fall and things are looking decidedly autumnal but it is not because of the time of year, it’s the heat and drought. We have only had one day of rain here on the coast in the Charente Maritime since the end of June. I am already collecting leaves. Also harvesting figs, we are overrun with them and learning how to dry them for the winter ahead. We are also still harvesting aubergines, courgettes and tomatoes – there’s not much to do at the moment apart from deadheading and cutting back some of the perennials which have long since finished flowering. The biggest task is the constant watering of the vegetable garden and anything in tubs courtesy of our well. Hope you have a great weekend.
September 13, 2016 @ 8:17 am Katherine
I agree, watering has and continues to be a headache. My water butts are empty, and as we have water restrictions in place I’m having to make do with the water from the lavoir at the end of the road along with what little water we have trickling down the petite source in our garden at the moment!I don’t really want to say it, but I can’t wait until it rains!
September 10, 2016 @ 6:58 am Rosie (@greenrosielife)
I really must get some sweet peas sown this month – I lost mine this year when I was back and forth to the UK and really missed their scent in the garden.
September 13, 2016 @ 8:14 am Katherine
I know you can start sweet peas now, but I always leave mine until February or March,think I’ll have to try an autumn sowing to see what difference it makes.
September 6, 2018 @ 1:57 pm jardin-perdu / Spring flowering bulbs to be planted in autumn - September in the Garden
[…] Get planning and planting now, and come January, when you’re still snuggled up in front of the fire, these little bulbs will be starting to brave the frost and snow for you. To learn about other jobs you can be doing in the garden this September, please read our blog Gardening jobs for September. […]