September is the heart of spring. So much happens in the garden during this beautiful time of the year. Weather conditions can be atrocious on occasion with cold, wind, rain and snow. Nevertheless, it’s the season when gardeners plant with great conviction. There are just so many plants in bloom to tempt everybody to get gardening. Enjoy spring with all the flowers and lush new growth all around you.
- All the summer and autumn flowering seedlings are ready for planting from now on into the New Year. Bedding begonias, dahlias, salvias, marigolds, New Guinea impatiens, torenias and browallias are just some of the plants coming into season.
- As spring and winter flowers finish, remove and replace with summer season plants.
- Mixed hanging baskets will soon need to be re-planted.
- Sow seeds in situ of summer flowers like cosmos.
- Plant seed potatoes.
- Plant out seedlings of tomatoes, chillies, peppers, egg plants as well as the usual lettuces, cabbages, beetroot, spinach and chard.
- Sow seed of all the pumpkin family, dwarf beans, runner beans, maize and sweetcorn.
- Keep weeds under control by hoeing between the rows.
- Harvest spring crops like globe artichokes.
- Plant out young plants of all the different basil types.
- Plant new curry leaf trees when all danger of frost is over. They are a member of the citrus family and need to be looked after in a similar manner.
- Sow coriander seed regularly.
- Prune back any aggressive herbs.
- Fertilise the entire herb garden to maximise spring growth.
- Plant young citrus and sub-tropical fruit trees like avocados, mangoes and litchis.
- Stake them after planting and protect from sunburn with temporary shade structure over the young tree.
- Fertilise all fruit trees now with a general purpose fertiliser like 3:1:5 slow release nitrogen at the recommended application rates.
- Clivias bloom now and early September is a great opportunity to buy new plants in bloom.
- Dead head spent flowering bulbs.
- Water spring flowering shrubs like azaleas and deutzias to ensure a good show.
- All plants need liberal applications of fertiliser at the recommended dosage rates in order to optimise spring growth.
- Watering is vital until the spring rains arrive in earnest.
- Stake alstroemerias and other perennials that have a tendency to fall over.
- Prune back spring flowering shrubs immediately after they have finished blooming.
- Increase watering to twice weekly.
- Pinch back (just take out the soft new growth tip with your fingers) some of the new growth shoots to stagger the blooming.
- Fertilise with a balanced rose food. 8:1:5 or 5:1:5 formulations work best.
- Commence regular preventative spraying against fungal diseases at two week intervals.