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Gardening Jobs for September

Cut out fruited canes of summer raspberries, blackberries and hybrid berries (after fruiting) and tie in new canes that will fruit next year. Select strong, healthy canes and cut out weak, forked or misplaced ones

Plant new strawberry beds for next year if not yet done.  New plants need to establish before the cold sets in.

Continue to sow vegetables for overwintering, to mature next spring: turnip, spinach, winter lettuce, Oriental vegetables and seed of overwintering onions, both salad and bulb types.

Dig up potatoes before slug damage becomes a problem. Leave them out to dry for two to three hours before storing.

Regularly pick fast maturing vegetables, such as French beans, runner beans, courgettes, cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes.

Dig up carrots, beetroot and turnips. Leave them out to dry for two to three hours before storing. Parsnips should be left in, as they taste better once frosted.

Sow green manures or cover unused beds with a weed proof membrane.

Sow sweet peas in a cold frame or the greenhouse for early summer flowers next year.

This is a good time of year to plant new perennials, especially towards the end of September, as the soil is still warm, but moisture levels are increasing. Also divide any overgrown or tired looking clumps of alpines and herbaceous perennials

Wait for the first frosts to hit dahlias and cannas before lifting the tubers or rhizomes.

Buy or order spring-flowering bulbs. Try to plant daffodils (Narcissus) by mid-September for the best results. Tulips are best left until November.

Don't neglect hanging basket maintenance - a little deadheading, watering and feeding can keep them going until mid-autumn.

Start preparing any areas for later tree and shrub planting (November onwards)

Continue collecting and storing seed.

Take cuttings of tender perennials, such as Pelargonium and Osteospermum. These plants often do better grown from new cuttings each year.

Most perennial weeds are vulnerable to weedkiller in early autumn.

Cleaning the greenhouse is best done before bringing in all your tender plants for the winter.

Ventilate conservatories during the remaining warmer days to prevent soaring temperatures, but reduce ventilation once the cooler and gusty autumn weather sets in. Be ready to reduce shading towards the end of the month as light levels fall.

Start to reduce watering as light levels drop and growth slows.

September is an ideal time of the year to apply biological controls for use on vine weevil. Grubs will be starting to hatch, and soil and compost temperatures are now suitable for the nematodes to be effective.

Mow less frequently, and raise the height of cut as the growth rate of the grass slows down.   Start removing clippings this month, rather than leaving on the lawn to act as a mulch.  Add the clippings to the compost heap in thin layers or well mixed with woody material.  Alternatively mix into the leaf mould pile.

This is an ideal time of year to create new lawns from turf or seed.

Cover the surface of ponds with netting to stop fallen leaves from entering.  

Now is a good time to divide waterlilies and other pond plants, both floating and marginal, in order to increase their stocks or to control over-vigorous growth. A maximum of 50% of the water's surface should be taken up with planting.

Allow seed heads to develop on some plants as a source of food

Top up bird feeders and put out food on the ground and bird tables

Keep the bird bath topped up

Regularly clean the bird bath, table and feeders

You may see young hedgehogs foraging for food at night. Don't feed hedgehogs with bread and milk, as this is unhealthy for them. Good quality cat and dog food, or raw minced meat mixed with egg, are suitable alternatives.

Clean and store away garden furniture when it is no longer in use.