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Paraic’s Tips for Your Garden in September

“Flower bulbs planted in clusters now will provide a beautiful show of colour from January to early summer”Paraic Horkan

With shortening days and cooler nights, stunning autumnal colours with hues of butter yellow, brilliant oranges and scarlet reds are starting to fill our gardens. Autumn is the start of the gardener’s year. It is a time to sow, plant, propagate new plants as well as adding colour to your garden in general.

September is a busy time in your garden here’s what you can do…

1) Naturalising flowering bulbs in your lawn is an exciting and easy way to create striking colour in winter and spring. September is the time for planting your spring bulbs. The general rule is that the bulb should be planted at a depth of two times the height of the bulb. Flower bulbs planted in clusters now will provide a beautiful show of colour from january to early summer. Select short stemmed bulbs including Snowdrops, crocus, winter aconites, dwarf narcissus and fritillaries. Use a Gardman bulb planter when planting and remember to plant in groups of the same variety. Flowering bulbs are so easy to grow and great for kids to plant.

2) A healthy moss free lawn can be achieved this month, early autumn is the right time to control lawn moss growth. Apply a dressing of Zero liquid lawn treatment to you lawn area now. Zero kills moss overnight and helps to create a rich green lawn. One week after applying the Zero treatment apply a dressing of OSMO Lawn Fertiliser to help create and maintain a rich green colour in your lawn.

2) A healthy moss free lawn can be achieved this month, early autumn is the right time to control lawn moss growth. Apply a dressing of Zero liquid lawn treatment to you lawn area now. Zero kills moss overnight and helps to create a rich green lawn. One week after applying the Zero treatment apply a dressing of OSMO Lawn Fertiliser to help create and maintain a rich green colour in your lawn.

3) For those who would like to attract bees and butterflies to the garden, Suttons wildflower seed mix are a great way to fill gaps in beds and borders and can even be used for containers. Why not sow them now in autumn for an early display of wildflowers in spring. Make sure the area to be planted is free of weeds and the soil raked to remove clumps and stones. Sprinkle your chosen seed mix evenly and rake very gently to ensure the seeds have contact with the soil. Water in well but very gently to prevent the seeds from being washed from the area. you can also add in some spring flowering bulbs including the classic fairy walk bulb collection

4) Now is an ideal time to take the last of the semi-ripe cuttings from your favourite shrub, climber or even herb. Don’t forget to treat the base of the cutting with Rooting liquid dip before planting, and over-winter your cuttings in a cold frame or cool greenhouse away from bright sunlight. Geraniums can be rooted from slips now and kept indoors on a bright windowsill for colour next summer.

5) September is the time for planting your Spring flowering bulbs. The general rule is that the bulb should be planted at a depth of two times the height of the bulb. For best effect, they should be planted in groups of five, seven, nine, etc.

6) The end of the month is also the ideal time for forcing hyacinths, amaryllis Scented Freesias and daffodils for Christmas display. They should be started off by planting them in a free-draining compost with the tip of the bulb just showing above the surface. It is important to store them in a dark cool area to allow the roots to develop and they should not be allowed to dry out. When the shoots appear and have grown to about 3 or 4cm, they can be moved indoors but the area must be cool and the pots positioned away from bright light. As the leaves begin to grow and become greener, the pots can be moved to a warmer area to come into flower.

7) As the temperatures begin to fall, grass growth slows further and the need for cutting decreases. September is the perfect time to sow Green velvet dwarf seed as temperatures are still warm enough for good seed germination. Preparation, as always, is key so it is a good idea to treat the area to be seeded by working Osmo pre seeding lawn fertiliser into the soil before sowing. This organic fertiliser with added magnesium contains the necessary nutrients to improve the soil’s fertility, thus ensuring good germination and a deep root system for the new lawn. Whether reseeding an entire lawn or just patching a damaged area, a good quality lawn seed is important. Green velvet dwarf seed has added mycorrhizal fungi and gives a tough, hard-wearing lawn which is suitable for families and pets.

“September is the time for planting your spring bulbs; the general rule is that the bulb should be planted at a depth of two times the height of the bulb”Paraic Horkan

8) Add autumn, winter and spring colour to patio pots, window boxes and beds with beautiful Cyclamen. Now available in a wide range of colours cyclamen just love the cooler temperatures of autumn. underplant with red riding hood tulips for some additional colour next spring.

9) In the vegetable garden, the continuing harvest is freeing up valuable space for winter crops. You should consider planting winter cabbage, broccoli, garlic or kale. For those who don’t want to garden through the winter months, you could consider using the spaces to plant Green Manure Phacelia. This will reduce the instances of weeds in open spaces and is ready to be dug into the soil after just 50 or 60 days. This refreshes the soil with much needed organic matter and increased fertility.

10) As we move through September, don’t forget to reduce the amount of watering for house plants as the temperatures fall and above all enjoy your garden.

Don’t forget to call into any Horkans Garden Centre where our knowledgeable staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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