AS September arrives and we return to more structure and routine after a summer of gallivanting and enjoying the sunshine, it is time to get to work on the garden to prolong the feeling of summer and sunshine.
Regular weekly feeding with tomato food will encourage flowering and provide excellent results while the temperatures are still favourable and sunshine prevails.
Some selective cutting back of perennials likely to repeat flower can help continue the display. If you look closely at some herbaceous geraniums and other perennials, a second flush of growth may have already begun at the centre of the plant, simply cut off the outer old growth and await the second display!
Water selectively during dry spells, watching out particularly for plants that like a moisture-retentive soil like Hydrangea and Eupatorium. Generally, plants that need lots of water will let you know that they are suffering by wilting and some speedy intervention with the watering can will remedy the situation with no long term damage done.
Sowing green manures now as crops are harvested and the soil is bare, is a great way of covering the soil in preparation for the winter ahead and locking nutrients into the soil. Clovers, rye grass and phacelia are all good options for this time of the year, check out fruithill farm for a suitable range of winter green manures.
Do not mow that lawn too tightly as it will encourage the development of moss. Areas of long grass that have had paths mown through this summer will need to be cut down soon and the resulting long grass removed to the compost heap. It is really amazing what edging a bed can do at this time of the year as it crisps up a tired and undefined display and gives some new life for a few more weeks.
Hedges should be cut now to give them a chance to put on some growth before the winter months and the clippings added to the compost heap. It really is peak composting time right now and just great to watch the heap of organic material removed from the garden reduce so quickly as it breaks down to form garden compost.