Keep gardening – it’s only September!

The gardener’s diary with Martin Fish

Pelargonium (geranium) cuttings can be taken now to produce strong new plants for next year. Select new shoots and trim to around 3 inches, just below a leaf joint. Remove the lower leaves and insert several into a 4-inch pot. Root them on a windowsill or frost-free greenhouse

Pelargonium cuttings - step 3

Give formal hedges and topiary a final trim of the year to maintain a good shape through winter.

Topiary web

To keep summer bedding plants and hanging baskets looking good for a few more weeks, pinch off old flowers, remove yellow leaves and give a weekly liquid feed to encourage a last flush of flowers.

Remove the lower leaves on tomato plants to allow more light and air to the ripening fruits. Keep the compost moist and carry on with a weekly high potash tomato fertiliser.

Start planting summer flowering bulbs such as daffodils, crocus, snowdrops and alliums, but not tulips as it is too early for them. As a guide plant all bulbs three times their depth.

Keep harvesting runner beans, French beans and courgettes while the fruits are small and tender.

Picking runner beans - web

As the tops of potatoes start to die down carefully fork out the tubers, dry them for a few hours and store in paper or hessian sacks somewhere cool and dark.

Keep trimming the lawn little and often and feed with an autumn lawn fertiliser, low in nitrogen and high in phosphate and potassium to encourage a strong root system and to induce winter hardiness and diseases resistance.

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