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Flower Garden - September

  • Buy spring bulbs for next year.  For a wider choice than is available at your local garden centre, study mail order or online catalogues.  Most bulbs, including Daffodils, Hyacinths, Lilies and small bulbs are best planted this month or in early October.  Tulips are better planted towards the end of October. See our Planting Guide for further advice.

  • Give evergreen hedges, including Privet, a final trim to ensure they are neat for the winter. Do not feed them at this time of year.

  • Now’s the time to go around your garden collecting seeds from perennials and annuals.  Collect seed heads in paper bags and leave them in a warm place to dry for a few days, before cleaning and storing in small envelopes.  Some gardens that open to the public offer seed collecting days – a great way to find something unusual.  Most seeds are best sown in spring.

  • Sweet pea lovers may find that sowing seed in autumn produces stronger plants.  Do not soak the seeds for too long as they are liable to rot.  Use J Arthur Bower’s Seed & Cutting Compost or John Innes Seed Compost and sow the seeds in J Arthur Bower’s Grow Tubes.  It has been found that dark coloured seeds germinate well in fairly damp compost, but pale seed require a compost that is only just moist.  Cover the containers with glass or put them in a propagator and keep at around 15o C (59oF).  When the seedlings appear transfer them to a cold frame.  Pinch out the growing tips when the plants are about 10 cm (4 inches) high.

  • Tidy up your alpine plants for the winter, making sure they’re all firmly settled into the ground.  Renew top dressings of J Arthur Bower’s Coarse Grit.

Roses

  • Shrub roses and ramblers can easily be propagated from stem cuttings at this time of year.  Take a length of stem about 30cm (12 inches) long and trim it off just below the bottom leaf.  Remove the soft tip just above a root joint.  Take off all but the top two or three leaves and push the cuttings into a well dug trench in the garden to about half their length.  They should be left for 12 months to root and develop.

  • If rambler and climbing roses have got a bit out of hand, spend a bit of time tying them in before the winter.

  • If rose leaves have developed black spot over the late summer it’s worth taking time to remove all affected leaves, including those that have already fallen. This will stop spores overwintering and should help prevent infection of next year’s growth. Do not put diseased leaves on your compost heap.

 

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