What to do in the garden in September

In September, there are two main considerations when it comes to gardening in the UK – what you’ve been doing up until now and what you should do from here on out.

It is a time of year that can make or break your garden.

In terms of maintenance, this month can be a great opportunity for tidying up your garden. 

You may have already taken care of many of these tasks over the summer months, but if not then now is a good time to get them done before winter arrives.

Consider checking that all plants are healthy and mulching around trees and shrubs to keep them warm through the winter months. 

Have a read of this article so you can be prepared this September.

September gardening snippet

Table of Contents

What to do in the garden in September

If you have a garden in your house, you must remember that the weather conditions change every month of the year. As a result, you need to look after your garden in a slightly different way each month.

What Makes September a Good Month for Gardening?

September is quite an interesting month. The summers are about to end and it’s time for autumn to set in. The plants in the garden get some respite from the blistering sun and start to thrive in the relatively cooler temperature experienced in September.

Are you wondering what to do in the garden in September? You’re not alone. There are a lot of interesting plants you can grow in your garden. Let’s check them out.

september sun

What to Plant in September?

Tomato plants, perennial plants, tender plants, herbs, spring bulbs, different varieties of flowers and fruits can be planted in your garden in September. If you have been planning to grow onions at home, you can start planting them now and wait to harvest them after a couple of months.

In September, you can grow certain types of plants that can’t be grown during the summer or winter seasons. If you’ve had a greenhouse built recently, then this is the right month to start using it. You can have the liberty of planting different types of seeds and plantations during autumn. You can also grow many perennials and herbaceous perennials which last for several months at a stretch.

tomatoes in september

Perennial Plants for Late Summer

September is the time to plant late flowering perennials and they will keep your garden colourful till the first frosts show up. Most of these perennials are easy to grow and maintain as well. Here are a few of them:

  • Aster
  • Helenium
  • Sedum
  • Japanese Anemone
  • Oriental Lily
  • Goldenrod
  • Balloon Flower
  • Nippon Daisy

Let’s take a look at what you can do in your garden in September:

Goldenrod Perennial

Start the Process of Planting Annual Flowers

Unless it’s too cold out there, you can start planting annual flowers like ageratum, celosia, begonia and zinnia in mid to late September. You can use transplants featuring thick stems and healthy green leaves. These types of flowers grow very well during the cool nights of the autumn season.

Autumn and winter are pretty close to each other. If you plant the seeds in September, they will start blooming by the time winter kicks in. You can choose any type of seed and get started.

After planting them, remember to water them properly every single day, especially during the first two weeks. Mulching them will help retain the moisture content in the soil.


Improve the Quality of Your Soil

September is a good month to work towards improving the overall quality of the soil in your garden. The first step to take in this direction is to remove the dying or dead flowers and vegetables lying on the soil.

Once you are done with this process, put together a layer of compost or manure over the soil’s surface. Use a rototill or a spade to smoothen out the surface of the soil.

If the mulching process has already been carried out in the past, all you need to do is spread the soil a bit over the mulch. If you have a very small garden area, you could get a garden fork to carry out this process.

checking soil in september

Protect the Soil from Wind Erosion

During the autumn and winter season, you have to take certain measures to ensure that your soil remains safe from the effects of wind erosion. However, during the summer season, you don’t have to be very cautious about it.

One of the smartest things you can do is to inseminate a cover crop of ryegrass. September proves to be the best month to carry out this activity. The ryegrass grows at a very fast pace and does its job of keeping the soil firm. Until the arrival of the spring, you will not have to worry about any damage occurring to the soil because of wind erosion.

wind erosion

Clean the Vegetable Gardens Thoroughly

To ensure that different kinds of diseases or insects do not attack your vegetable garden in the near future, you must clean the garden thoroughly this month. As soon as you spot the presence of rotting fruit, dead vines, diseased foliage or affected leaves, you must remove them immediately.

If you are growing crops like potatoes, squash, tomatoes and melons, you must be extra cautious about cleanliness and hygiene. You also have to be careful if you are planning to plant fruits like apples.

If ripe vegetables remain in the garden for too long and start rotting, pests will start attacking them. If your crops died down during the summer, burn them or throw them away in a garbage disposal unit.

vegetables being cleaned

Make Your Grass Look Better

September is a good month for looking after your grass and you can take some steps to make it look better. Processes like dethatching, fertilization, aeration and preparation of garden beds prove to be beneficial for most lawns.

If you have not done any of these in the recent past, now is the time to do it. Apart from carrying out maintenance activities, September is also a very good time to sod or make the necessary arrangements to put together a new lawn. Besides the lawn, you can sow and grow many perennials during spring, early autumn or late summer. The winter months prove to be suitable to plant or harvest many crops.

If you have a very old lawn and you notice some bare spots there, you must fill them up. You must take effective steps to control the spread of weeds like dandelion and clover. It is important to do so during this season as this is the time when weeds get ready for the winter season by extracting starches and nutrients from their leaves and putting them onto their roots.

Different varieties of southern grasses like Bermudagrass, St. Augustine, Bahia and Zoysia should be fertilized in September.

cutting grass in september

Plant Bulbs for the Spring Season

Plant bulbs of flowers like daffodils, hyacinths, tulips and crocus that you can expect to bloom by the onset of spring next year. These bulbs can be planted individually or inserted between already growing shrubs and perennials.

Planting bulbs is a very easy process. If you want to plant large-sized bulbs, you will have to dig 8-inches deep holes. For smaller bulbs, 4-inches deep hole would be good enough. Once the hole has been dug, you have to put the bulb inside it and cover it properly with soil.

There is also an option of digging a massive hole and putting a bunch of bulbs inside it. Apart from planting spring bulbs, try to opt for different varieties of bulbs so that you can see them blooming at different points of time throughout the year and not just during autumn or spring.

daffodils bulbs in september

Get Houseplants Inside the House

It is important to get vacationing houseplants inside the house before the frost starts approaching. Use the garden hose or any other suitable equipment to clean the plants properly.

After you are done with the cleaning process, inspect the plants thoroughly and check whether insects have found a home for themselves inside the foliage.

The pots must also be cleaned thoroughly to ensure no amount of soil has stuck to them. If they are moist, give them some time to dry and then bring them indoors.

Inside the house, you can put the pots on saucers to ensure that the floors don’t get dirty. If some plants have grown tremendously, you must prune them and get them in proper shape before getting them inside the house.

To make sure pests don’t get inside your house, you must dip every single pot in a small bucket or container of water for some time. This will help in ensuring that the snails, beetles, slugs and worms that could be hidden underneath the soil get washed away.

bringing house plants inside

Dry Flowers

Certain types of flowers blossom in September and add a distinctive colour to your garden. Some of the flowers that are easy to dry and maintain for a long time include strawflower, yarrow, globe amaranth, sedum, artemisia, celosia and statice.

These flowers prove to be ideal for making flower bouquets in the winter. You just have to cut down the blooms early in the morning and keep them in a well-ventilated and dry area. After 8-10 days, you can take them and create an interesting mix or an assortment for a bouquet.

When you go about preparing a bouquet of dried flowers, remember to place a foam core at the bottom of the vase so that the flowers remain seated proper


Prepare Your Pumpkins for the Halloween

Since Halloween is just a few weeks away, you should ripen your pumpkins so that you can use them as a prop during the celebration. To ripen fast, you have to clean up the area surrounding the pumpkins properly. Make sure there are no fallen leaves or other waste material around them. You must also try and protect them from rain.

You can keep the pumpkins slightly above the ground level to ensure they don’t get attacked by pests or suffer from rotting. You can use a small wooden platform or some plastic material to place them on.

pumpkin harvesting

Build a Compost Bin

A compost bin is a type of container in which one puts garden waste and other unwanted organic matter to produce compost. While you can easily buy compost bins, it is possible to build a good quality compost bin on your own.

If you have a garden with plants and trees, you should collect the fallen leaves and other waste material while cleaning the garden and drop them in the compost bin. A compost bin not only helps in collecting unnecessary organic matter splattered across your garden but also proves to be useful in retaining valuable nutrients present in them.

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Oliver Wright

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