Guest post by Erin aka @hortihunny
September is one of my favourite months in the countryside! Combined fields, the nights are drawing in and although I love the warm summer days harvesting fruit and veg and collecting flowers for posies, it’s time to layer up and get ready for Autumn! Here are my top jobs for September…
You can get your second crop of potatoes, broccoli, kale, spinach, salads, beetroot and tomatoes. Look out for plums and early varieties of apples and pears. Keep your eyes peeled for brambles when out on walks in your local area. Perfect for making apple & bramble Jam (or jelly if you strain the fruit), fruit crumble, or perhaps a bramble flavoured tipple
- Tidying Beds & Borders
Begin pruning back hardy perennials (plants that flower year after year) so they have time to grow a little before the winter. Once your annuals (plants that live only one year) have flowered and begin to fade, remove them and pop them in your brown bin/compost heap. Remember to collect seeds from your favourite ones!
- Harvesting Sunflower Seeds
• Cut the stems about 2-3 inches from the base of the head
• Allow the head to dry for a few days
• Rub any yellow/brown debris off
• Rub the seeds with your thumbs to loosen off
• Wash the seeds thoroughly and place on to a dry tea towel, pat dry and leave to dry out completely overnight (or a couple of days) in a warm spot
•Ensure you allow your seeds to dry fully – I didn’t do this last year and ended up with a mouldy batch of seeds!
• Store in a cool dry place – recycle old envelopes/paper bags
• The stems can also be dried and used – why not make a bug hotel with other materials you have lying around?!
We’ve had a very dry August, so although it’s getting cooler, keep an eye on your plants, especially in containers.
Try to use grey water or collected rainwater where possible.
- Tidy Greenhouses
Start cleaning up the greenhouse from your summer jobs so it’s ready to be used to store container plants or ready for other autumn/winter jobs.
It’s a good idea to locate some bubble wrap (ideally recycled) to line it for added protection.
- Planning Ahead
Plan which bulbs you would like to grow in Spring next year. Whether you are reusing bulbs from last year or buying new ones, September is ideal for planting spring flowering bulbs such as Daffodils, Crocuses, Hyacinths, Alliums and Crocosmia.
Tulips can be planted later, ideally Oct-Dec.