Where has the year gone? With the summer winding to a close, it's time to prepare for the autumn and winter months that lie ahead. With a bit of luck, the weather will continue to be kind, allowing us to make the most of the last of our light evenings and warm days.
Considering we may want to spend more time enjoying our gardens before the colder weather strikes, our lawns and turfed areas are fairly accommodating to these requirements. Firstly, your lawn will require less mowing, as the rate of growth slows down noticeably, but as always adjust mowing frequency according to the growing conditions. Now's the time to repair any worn areas following summer and deal with any issues such as compaction or moss. As the weather begins to turn colder, feel free to apply an autumn lawn feed, rather than continuing with the use of your nitrogen rich summer feed. This ensures your lawn hardens up and strengthens in time for winter, rather than becoming weak and prone to disease. There's still time to apply a feed, weed & moss killer during early autumn, should your lawn need it. You may also wish to apply a lawn topdressing, whilst the weather remains relatively dry, to improve the lawn's appearance and help with drainage. September also provides optimum growing conditions for new lawns, so if you have held back over the summer from laying new turf or sowing lawn seed, now is definitely the time to do it.
Time to Cut Back
Although the hot weather may be over, it's essential not to forget flowers and hanging baskets. The occasional round of watering and dead-heading certainly won't go a miss until mid-autumn, as most of these flowers are likely stay healthy and full of colour until then. Once these flowers are past their best, replace them with winter heathers and spring-flowering bulbs for a successful few months of blooming. September is also a good time to organise large plants and alpines, clearing space and removing tired clumps in order to invigorate them. Plant new perennials this month, whilst the soil is still warm and moderate rainfall levels mean less watering will be required.
As far as the rest of the garden goes, it's time to be proactive to prevent the colder weather damaging our gardens. Ponds should be netted to mitigate the effects of leaf fall, whilst leafy vegetable crops should also be protected with a layer of bird proof netting. Although weather conditions will change year on year, September tends to be the ideal time to make the most out of your healthy summer garden. It also offers one the best times for weeding, with weed killers proving to be particularly effective during this time. As we near the end of the warmer weather, it is important to be proactive and prepare for potentially harsh conditions that can cause havoc in our gardens. Now is certainly the time to carry out any essential repairs that have been put off such as leaking shed roofing, cleaning patios and removing moss. Don't forget to soak up the last of the summer rays and enjoy the lighter evenings, whilst you can.