Preparing Your Garden For September: A Complete Guide

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September often brings milder temperatures and more breezy days compared to August, with daylight diminishing more quickly, weather getting cooler and our gardens getting more rain. The heat of this summer in the UK, would have left some of our gardens in need of revival and some extra nutrition. This article, provides a complete guide on how to prepare your garden for the coming up September and make your outdoor space flourish, even in the colder months.

Contents of This Article

Why Prepare Your Garden for September?

September stands as a poignant reminder of nature’s constant ebb and flow. It’s the crossroads where the balmy warmth of summer gradually yields to the crisp embrace of autumn. This transitional period is not just a marker on a calendar but a crucial time for garden enthusiasts. The reason for such attention to our gardens during this time is multifold.

The shift from summer to autumn means that gardens and plants must acclimatise to fluctuating temperatures, evolving light patterns, and changing moisture levels. Furthermore, the blistering heatwaves of summer might have left their mark on once vibrant plants, making them appear weary and wilted. September is a time of rejuvenation and healing. Deep watering sessions, preferably during the early mornings or late evenings, can significantly aid parched plants. This not only minimises evaporation but also ensures that the roots absorb the much-needed moisture. This is particularly relevant if you have planted a new hedge or trees in the last year.

Assess and Clean

  • Survey the Landscape: Walk through your garden and check for plants that might have suffered during the summer heat. Identify which ones need attention, pruning, or even transplantation.
  • Remove Debris: Clear out fallen leaves, branches, and other debris to prevent the growth of fungal diseases.
  • Weed: Uproot any weeds to ensure they don’t take over in the autumn.

Watering and Feeding

  • Deep Water: Summer might have dried out the soil. Water deeply to ensure roots get enough moisture.
  • Adjust Watering Schedule: As the weather cools, plants need less water. Make sure not to overwater.
  • Fertilize: Offer a balanced feed to plants, especially those showing signs of nutrient deficiencies. Remember, autumn is a time for root growth, so a slow-release fertilizer high in potassium can be beneficial.

Mulching For Moisture and Temperature Control

Another significant aspect of September gardening is mulching. A generous layer of organic mulch, be it compost or bark, can work wonders. This layer serves a dual purpose: it conserves essential moisture, ensuring the soil remains hydrated, and simultaneously regulates the soil temperature, ensuring that the roots remain insulated from the fluctuating temperatures of autumn.

Prune Your Plants

However, nurturing plants back to health isn’t the sole objective. September is also about fortifying them. By trimming away sun-scorched or damaged foliage, you encourage plants to invest energy in new growth. Further bolstering their strength with a balanced feed equips them to better ward off potential diseases and pests that tend to rise as the colder months approach.

Lawn Care

  • Mowing: Continue mowing but adjust the blade to a higher setting, allowing the grass to grow a little taller.
  • Aeration: September is a great time to aerate your lawn, ensuring oxygen, water, and nutrients penetrate to the grass roots.
  • Seed: If there are bare patches on your lawn, consider overseeding.

Preparing Beds and Borders

  • Turn the Soil: This helps in aerating it and breaking down large chunks.
  • Add Compost: Enrich the soil by mixing in well-decomposed compost.
  • Mulch: Apply a fresh layer of mulch to protect plants from colder temperatures, retain moisture, and suppress weed growth.

Planting and Transplanting

  • Spring-Flowering Bulbs: Now is the time to plant bulbs like daffodils, tulips, and crocuses for a beautiful spring display.
  • Transplant: If you have perennials that have outgrown their spots or aren’t thriving where they are, consider moving them.

Protecting Plants

  • Pest Control: Look out for pests that might become a problem in autumn, such as aphids or caterpillars.
  • Frost-sensitive Plants: Consider moving them indoors or to a greenhouse. If that’s not possible, think about getting frost cloths to protect them during cold snaps.


  • Fruits and Veggies: Harvest summer crops like tomatoes, berries, beans, and courgettes. Also, begin harvesting early autumn crops.
  • Herbs: Harvest and dry or freeze herbs for winter use.

Wildlife Care

  • Bird Feeders: As food becomes scarcer, fill bird feeders to support local birds.
  • Pond Care: Remove any fallen leaves and debris from ponds to maintain water clarity.
  • Hedgehog Friendly: Ensure your garden is accessible for creatures like hedgehogs. Leave some areas slightly wild for them to hibernate.

Planning Ahead

  • Notes: Take notes on what worked and what didn’t in your garden this year. This can be a roadmap for next year.
  • Order Seeds: Start planning for next year by ordering seeds and plants for early spring planting.

Invite Wildlife

Beyond the flora, gardens in the UK are bustling with life, often acting as sanctuaries for diverse wildlife. A specific mention must be made of the humble hedgehog, an iconic feature of the British landscape, now alarmingly close to extinction. Gardens can play a pivotal role in their conservation. One simple yet effective measure is the creation of ‘hedgehog highways’. These are small gaps at the base of fences or walls, allowing the creatures to roam freely, seeking food and shelter. Speaking of shelter, a garden left a tad wild with its share of leaves or logs can become a haven for these creatures, offering them spots to hibernate.

Water, the essence of life, becomes a luxury for many creatures during dry spells. By placing a shallow dish of water, we can provide relief not just to hedgehogs but to a myriad of creatures. Moreover, adopting a chemical-minimal approach in the garden, particularly by reducing or eliminating the use of pesticides and slug pellets, ensures that these safe havens remain truly safe.

Month for Opportunity

In essence, September is more than just a month; it’s an opportunity. An opportunity to rejuvenate, to protect, and to coexist. Through mindful practices, not only can we ensure our gardens remain vibrant and lush, but we also carve out spaces where nature, in all its diverse glory, thrives.

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