September – always a time of endings and beginnings, for harvest and renewal.
This has been a wonderful season for fruit and berries. The field hedges are red with haws and rosehips. In the garden the apples are like jewels on the trees, (and on the ground a definite trip hazard). There are windfalls everywhere and I can’t pick all the blackberries and damsons quickly enough. All my long-collected, empty jam-jars are now filled with jellies and jams and the freezer is packed with grapes waiting to be juiced.
Quite apart from harvesting and preserving, September is the second busiest month of the year for gardening.
The soil is still warm and since the recent rain deliciously damp. Just right for plants to make a good root system before the winter. So this is an excellent time for planting, for clearing beds and splitting herbaceous plants and replanting (not ornamental grasses, they split better in summer when they are in full growth). Any area that is overgrown or disappointing, give it the once-over, clear the weeds, dig up, transplant, turn it all around, stick in some bulbs and then a give the whole area a good blanket of mulch. Next year you will be delighted by the results.
Time to sow seeds of winter vegetables. Purple sprouting broccoli, spinach, rocket and other mustard greens will come on fast if sown under cover to be planted out next month. Dig up some mint or chives and pot up to bring indoors, they will thicken up in no time and provide fresh leaves when the herbs outside are over.
Continue hedge cutting as in August. It’s not a job that can be done quickly.