It is September. Unfortunately, the weather is going to become colder and you need to protect your plants from this. We provide you with some helpful tips on what you should be doing over the next week or so. Garden zones 1-4 will experience the cold weather quicker, but only slightly. With the rest of the zones catching up and getting relieve from the hot summer that we have been experiencing. It is now the crucial time to get out in the garden and prepare for the colder weather. We created a September to do list for your garden so you don’t have to.
September to do list
Before you approach any of your flowers, you need to make sure your lawn is ok. The first half of September is when your lawn is in its prime. You need to aerate and dethatch your lawn to make sure the soil is healthy and fresh.
Address any of the problem areas that are in your garden now. That way you make sure they are healthy enough to survive the winter. Weeding, clear out planting beds and apply compost and label all your perennials before they die back into the ground. So you know they are there.
Now is the time to divide your annuals and your perennials; annual plants are plants that complete its life cycle from germination to the production of seeds within one year, whereas perennials tend to last for a few seasons.
Ensure that you transport you perennials and feed the roots with an extra source of phosphorus to ensure that they will rebloom. Although they are not much to look at currently, as most perennials die back in the autumn before returning back to spring, you still need to keep up their maintenance to ensure they return bigger and better next year.
The maintenance is not as difficult as you would think, by planting the perennials in the late summer/early autumn; you don’t need to water them like you would in the summer.
September is the best time to sow your hardy annuals that can withstand light frosts. Plants such as Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherry Brandy’, Sweet Pea ‘King Size Navy Blue’ or Californian Poppy ‘Jelly Beans’, which will ensure your garden is a beautiful place of colour during the drab winter nights. These normally can withstand the frost with very little protection, although mulching is always advised when heavy frost is predicted.
Shrubs and trees:
For those of you that have potted trees and shrubs in your garden, you need to plant these now, while ensuring that any dead shrubs and trees are removed. It may seem strange for us to tell you to plant shrubs in the winter, but if you plant these now then they will be settled by next spring.
Shrubs and trees will need water throughout the winter, although use your common sense, if frost is predicted don’t wet the soil that will then frost over. Ensure that they have enough space for the roots to get an idea of their spread, make the space a minimum of three times the diameter of the roots. The crucial difference between summer and winter is pruning. You can remove all the old, spent blooms but if you prune and encourage new growth, it will be killed by the first frost.
Your garden will thank you
In some ways, looking after your garden in the winter requires more time and dedication than in the summer, as you have to tend your garden most mornings to remove frost, assess any damage and ensure that your gardens bloom. By preparing your garden now by following the above tips, your garden will get off to a flying start.