September marks the start of spring, which means it’s the ideal time to feed and fertilise your plants, get stuck into weeding and re-invigorate your lawn. Here’s a round-up of things to tick off your early spring to-do list
Your September gardening to-do list
It’s time to feed and fertilise plants and trees
Despite what the skies may tell you, it’s officially the start of spring this month. As the weather warms, plant growth speeds up so plants will need an extra boost of nutrition to keep them going. Giving ornamental shrubs and trees a healthy sprinkle of sheep pellets and blood and bone around their root zones, followed by an all-purpose fertiliser, will set them up for the growing season.
Sow seeds for spring and summer
If it’s still cold and miserable outside but you need a garden fix, find a sheltered spot to sow seed for spring- and summer-flowering annuals. Sowing seed is slower but way cheaper than buying seedlings and the process is very satisfying. Plus, growing flowers will help keep the bees happy. Keep pots and punnets in a sheltered spot or under cover until seedlings are robust enough to go out into the garden.
Hoe or pull out all those little weeds that pop up in mulch or garden beds during the wet weather, before they get their roots down deep and are a nightmare to dig out.
Tougher weeds with deep taproots, such as dandelion and dock, need a little more effort but it’s best to get onto them in early spring before they put on a big burst of growth and get even tougher to dig out. If you’re not keen on chemical herbicides check online for organic controls.
Energise your lawn
Lawns also need an energy boost in spring so they remain green and lush throughout summer. If lawns are wet and boggy, wait until they dry out before feeding.
Visit your local garden centre and get planting
If you’re a fan of roses there’ll be plenty arriving at garden centres as spring kicks in. Try to choose varieties that are suited to your area to avoid having to use too many sprays. Many new varieties are resistant to black spot and other fungal diseases that plague roses in the warmer north.
Likewise with trees and shrubs, the garden centres and nurseries will be filling up with new plants and now is the time to plant them. Don’t leave it until mid summer as most newly planted trees and shrubs won’t establish as well when the ground is dry and temperatures are much warmer.
Feed your frangipanis
Feed frangipanis as they come into bud and take cuttings for more plants. Cut pieces of stem about 50cm long and leave somewhere dry outside for about a week. Once the cut end forms a callus, pop into a mix of sand and potting compost and place in a warm, sheltered spot until roots have formed.
Words by: Carol Bucknell. Photography by: Brigid Arnott/bauermediasyndication.com.au