September 2014 in the Garden

Glynn SmithBy Glyn Smith Head Gardener at Erddig Hall National Trust Garden

Hedgecutting here at Erddig is well under way. Yew hedge clippings are being harvested and sent away to the pharmaceutical industry to be made into an anti-cancer drug.

Although many of you will have sheared hedges earlier, you may have regrowth that needs a second trim. We have so many hedges here that we tend to just give one cut in late summer. There is then little chance of any second cut needed.

We are also building up to our Apple Festival. (October 4th and 5th this year) It looks as though the apple crop will be fairly good this year, although apples and pears seem to be ripening earlier.

Maintain your borders and beds flowering by removing any dead flower heads. Keep cutting Dahlias or Chrysanthemums for a vase in the house. You may still have some sweet peas too.

Cuttings can be taken from prized bedding plants, such as Pelargoniums (Bedding Geraniums) and Fuchsias. Use a multi-purpose compost, with added vermiculite or sharp sand. You may also use a rooting hormone to get the best results.

Towards the end of the month, consider lifting and potting up tender plants.

Wisterias may be getting out of hand. Their long tendril shoots can be pruned back to 30-45 centimetres from where they started growing. Don’t worry if there are too many leaves to see properly, as you will be winter pruning in a few months and can take the shoots back much further then.

Another pruning task may be on your rambler and climbing roses. Look to replace some of the oldest stems with fresh new ones growing from ground level.

Earlier apple and pear varieties will need harvesting. Varieties like Discovery and Worcester Pearmain, don’t keep well and should be eaten as soon as possible after picking.
September is the time to add grease bands to help prevent those annoying codlin moths that cause maggots in the apples.

Order or buy your spring bulbs. Daffodils, most lilies, snowdrops and autumn crocus can be planted out now.

September is a good time to sow grass seed. Whether just patching bare spots, or making a new lawn, grass seed will germinate quickly whilst there is still some warmth in the soil.

Keep up the work in the vegetable garden or on the allotment. Maybe you can squeeze in a row of Spring Cabbage seedlings.

Pick all your outside grown tomatoes at the end of the month, many will continue to ripen on a sunny windowsill.