what jobs should I do in the garden this month ? September

This is a glorious time in the garden but the work can’t stop – tidy up now and prepare for the year ahead and you’ll reap the benfits next year.  Gardeners seem to embrace the routine of garden work, after all it is the pattern which runs through the year and without which inspiration would falter and imagination stall.

Sculpture at Burghley House, in Stamford, provides inspiration

If you spotted some gaps in your borders and took photos to remind you of when and where the gaps appeared you are a step ahead. If not, plant pot grown asters, phlox and rudbeckia in the gaps now and they will have filled out for next summer.

Or sow hardy annuals directly into the borders in some freshly drilled soil. They will provide an early display next summer.

Begin to dry off large pots of tender plants such as agapanthus and fuchsias. We lost a lot of agapanthus last winter so ensure you dry pots well and set aside – it can be sitting with their toes in water rather than the cold that kills them.

Prune climbing roses cutting out the oldest stems at ground level. Tie in new growth as near horizontal as possible to encourage flower buds next year.

prune climbing roses now

Buy Spring flowering bulbs – you can never have enough bulbs they brighten even the dullest day. I have stocks of tulips and alliums. Call or email for more information on my current favourite planting combinations.

Add to your borders now to fill gaps next year

Plant new climbers, shrubs and evergreens while the soil is still warm.


Now is the time to net your pond – not to stop the heron but to catch the leaves before they fall.

Vegetable garden

Keep harvesting courgettes. I made a fantastic courgette and lemon dish with dill and capers for vegetarians visiting us last night. I’m sorry to say the rest of our guests devoured a lot of meat (all local though!)

If you haven’t already done so lift your main crop potatoes

Add a fleece tunnel to keep the ground warm and sow winter salads. It’s amazing how easy it is and so delicious to pick a handful of fresh leaves for a sandwich in the depths of winter.

Plant new strawberries now to keep your patch productive

Plant new strawberries. A strawberry plant has about 3 years productive life so continually replanting is the way to keep your patch productive year after year.

I like to clear the greenhouse and give it a thorough clean in September. I know I can leave plants outside for a night or two without them coming to harm so I empty everything, give it a thorough scrub and light a sulphur candle over night to disinfect the whole greenhouse.