In many places, summer is now saying goodbye and autumn is coming. You can feel it, you can even smell it. The nights are getting colder, the days – shorter. Melancholy hovers over our gardens. You can feel it in the air that summer is ending. But: We are lucky because September still gives us a few warm days. It is balm for the soul. We can still plant, prune, harvest to the heart’s content. In relaxed, leisurely way, lost in thought. There is a lot to do in the garden also in September. Here is what you should do:
SOW THE LAWN NOW
Besides early summer, early autumn is the best time to sow lawn. No wonder! After all, the sun no longer tempts us outside quite so often and the lawn is therefore less strained. And those who hurry up and do it now will be able to enjoy the new lawn before the first frost. Here is how it is done: The first step is to loosen the soil and free it from root remains, weeds and stones. Sow on a windless day. Carefully rake in the seed and then water the area thoroughly with a gentle stream using the garden hose. The area shall be protected with barrier tape so that birds and other animals do not eat the seeds. When the grass has reached height of about 10 centimetres it can be mown for the first time. By the way: Reseeding is still possible.
PLANT PEONIES IN SEPTEMBER
A cottage garden without peonies? Almost impossible! These days, they are being offered again in the most beautiful colours. So, grab one and plant it. But beware: Peonies require a sunny spot or at least half-shade. And they need space. A lot of space. So, place the perennial peony at least 80 centimetres away from the next plant. Tree peonies need even more space. They need to have about 1.5 meters of space all around. The soil should be loose and permeable as both do not like waterlogging at all. The buds of perennial peonies must not be deeper than 3 centimetres in the soil, otherwise it will hardly bloom. The tree peony shall be planted so deep that the bud union is at least 15 centimetres below the ground.
NOW REGULARLY PAY ATTENTION TO THE APPLES
From September onwards, you should check at least once a week whether your apples can be picked. To do this, take an apple in your hand, lift it and turn it a little. If it comes off without pressure and pulling, it is ripe. But beware: Do not force anything. A ripe apple parts with the tree voluntarily. It is best to store your apples without any damages in a cool and dark place. There they can be kept for months. However, if the fruits have bruises or other blemishes, you should process them into applesauce and boil them down or freeze them. Or you can use them to bake a delicious cake or to make a juice.
BULBS ARE GOING INTO THE GROUND NOW
Now, the bulbs for crocuses, tulips, grape hyacinths, spring snowflakes or daffodils are offered again. No wonder! After all, they all shall be going into the ground now. Some bulb plants prefer a sunny spot, others tolerate half-shade. Some go into a bed, the others you can put in the lawn. They all have one thing in common – they appreciate permeable soil. You must know this: Flower bulbs are placed twice as deep as their height. Smaller bulbs such as crocuses shall be placed in larger groups in rather flat holes. When planting tulips and daffodils always put at least 5 bulbs in a bigger hole. The reason: A single tulip or daffodil doesn’t look that good, they make an impression only in groups. But don’t stress about planting the bulbs now – you can do it any time until the first frost.
TIDY UP THE GARDEN THESE DAYS
It is worth it to tidy up the garden these days. However, you should be aware that accuracy is not essential, rather the plants shall be prepared for the winter. We also make sure that there are enough opportunities to hide for insects and small animals. Here is how you should do it correctly: Yellowed and dead leaves shall be snipped off. Collect fallen and diseased rose petals as they go into the household waste. By doing so you can prevent fungus diseases from overwintering in the soil. You can cut off dead perennials and leave the healthy ones. Important beneficial insects will hibernate in them. Again, remove weeds from the soil in the beds and loosen it. And finally, the garden decorations shall be put into storage. You’ll see that your garden will look much tidier.
AND NOW THERE IS PLENTY TO PUT IN COMPOST
Compost is the gardener’s gold. Hardly anything else does your plants as much good as this soil. And now there is a lot of plant material that you accumulate when gardening which you can put in compost. What can go in the compost: chopped branches, leaves, grass clippings, seed weeds, but also eggshells, coffee grounds and tea leaves. Beware: Parts of plants that have died prematurely due to fungus diseases have nothing to do in the compost. They are disposed of with household waste. The same applies to rose petals that are affected by mildew. Weeds that have already set seed should also be disposed of in the household waste. Furthermore: Leftover salad with dressing, meat, bones, plastics, stained and varnished wood, citrus fruits and root spreading weeds.
QUICKLY PLANT A FRUIT TREE IN SEPTEMBER
You can plant fruit trees in containers or with root balls in frost-free weather until spring. However, it is cheaper to use bare-root plants. They are now available in many nurseries and garden centres, however in some regions a little later. You’ll see, there is a wide selection of bare-root fruit trees. You should therefore consider what should and can grow in your garden before buying. Make sure that you place your fruit tree in a sufficiently large and deep hole. First loosen the subsoil thoroughly. The bud union of your fruit tree should be a hand’s width above the soil surface. If the soil temperature remains at least 5°C, it will grow really well. It shall be pruned for the first time next spring.
A WINTER HOME FOR A HEDGEHOG
From September onwards, the hedgehogs are again in search of a cosy home for frosty winter days. If you want to accommodate a hedgehog in your garden, you should offer it a suitable shelter in September at the latest. It is very easy to build a suitable home for the little one: Lay out some dry leaves or straw in a sheltered place under your shrubs and on it place an upturned fruit crate with the narrow sides removed. Now cover it with dry leaves and branches. However, make sure that you leave an approx. 30 cm long access open to the inside of the crate. And you already have a wonderful hedgehog den, which will certainly be gratefully accepted.