Well here we are – autumn. Summer is such a busy time – with the kids off school, but also in the garden – and September always seems to arrive so quickly. It’s a lovely month though; harvest time, beautiful angles of sunshine, and still plenty of warm weather to enjoy. And it’s also quite a productive month for sowing seeds, planting bulbs and growing new plants – some to enjoy soon, and some to get started for next year. Here’s what to plant in September.
Flowers to plant in September
Wildflowers are fantastic for wildlife; they provide food for pollinating insects, wild birds and bats, as well as dense shelter for other small animals. They’re fast-growing, low-maintenance, help to control weeds, and look fabulous too – what’s not to love?!
You can sow wildflowers in a patch of ground, or a container. My post on planting wildflowers shows you how to do this.
Hardy annuals for next year
Fruit and vegetables to plant in September
Winter-hardy spring onions
Winter-hardy varieties of spring onion such as *Performer and *White Lisbon can be sown this month for harvesting next spring. Sow them thinly in rows about 10cm apart and 1cm deep. Once the seedlings appear, thin them out to allow 2-3cm between plants.
*Spinach is a great option for a vegetable plot; it’s quite hardy and you can harvest it when the leaves are small for salads, or use larger leaves in cooking. If you’re going to sow it outdoors, do it soon as later in the month seeds may need protection in order to germinate. Try to grow spinach in a sunny spot, and water and harvest it regularly to avoid bolting.
Radish can really perk up a salad at this time of year, and quick-maturing varieties like *French Breakfast can be ready in under four weeks. The speed of growth makes them great to grow with children too. Alternatively you can sow winter varieties which will take 2-3 months to mature. With space available at this time of year where Summer crops have been harvested, you may have room to try both.
After a winter of root vegetables, being able to harvest something green and leafy in early spring is a real treat. If you want to sow spring cabbage seeds direct into the ground, try to choose a sunny spot and make sure you walk over the soil to compact it a bit before sowing, as cabbages like a firm anchor for their roots. You can also sow seeds into trays for planting out later, this makes it easier to protect them from slugs and snails. Good varieties to try are *Durham Early, Duncan and Greensleeves.
This month your salad sowing should be focused on late varieties such as *radicchio, *rocket, *mizuna and *winter lettuce. Unlike the little and often approach to sowing in summer, you should aim to sow plenty of seeds now, as later sowings won’t germinate if temperatures start to drop.
Salad is an ideal crop to get kids involved with growing at any time of year; here’s how.
If you’ve been growing strawberries this year, your plants will probably have sent out ‘runners’ by now. These are long shoots, with a few leaves on them. You can make new strawberry plants by pegging these runners down into soil or a pot of compost, where they will take root. Once this has happened, you can cut them away from the parent plant.
Bulbs to plant in September
Spring flowering bulbs
Spend a bit of time this month planting *spring flowering bulbs and you’ll make such a difference to the amount of interest in your garden at the end of winter. Daffodils, crocus and hyacinths should all be planted by the end of September; hang on a bit longer to plant tulips though. If you’re not sure how to do it, check out my post on how to plant bulbs.
It’s also worth potting up a bulb lasagne, which is a container layered with bulbs that flower at different times. This is a brilliant way to get a long display of flowers for minimal effort!
Forced spring bulbs
While you’re planting your spring bulbs in the garden, you can also ‘force’ some of them to flower earlier than they would normally from this month. Forcing bulbs is basically speeding up the natural process of growth and flowering, and it’s a lovely way to enjoy blooms indoors in winter. It’s really easy to do, check out my post on forcing spring flowering bulbs for full instructions.
Are you growing any of my top picks for what to plant in September? Let me know what you’re up to in the comments! You might also like to check out my post on garden jobs for September too.