1 – Have a clean up
– Remove dying leaves, stems and weeds from your borders
– If you have a greenhouse – empty unused pots or containers as compost and decaying plant material can harbour unwanted pests over winter
– Tidy baskets and containers – continue feeding and pruning these plants and they may still bloom! Make the most of them until the first frost
– Deadheading

2 – Start composting
– The coming autumn months provide plenty of fallen leaves and other material perfect for composting
– Composting at home reduces the need for chemical fertilisers. It will also lower your carbon footprint!

3 – Protect pots
– Your potted plants may become waterlogged over the wet winter months – prevent this by raising your pots using ‘pot feet’ or using old bricks or wood to allow excess water to drain

4 – Prepare for stormy weather
– Young and newly planted trees need staking while older trees need checking regularly to make sure branches aren’t weak and dangerous
– Make sure climbers are properly tied to their trellis and supports
– Ensure greenhouse panes are properly secured

5 – Start to provide plant protection for over winter
– Although the beginning of the month is still relatively warm – as September ends some plants may not be able to cope with the drop in temperature
– Stock up on fleecing and bubble wrap – can be used to insulate pots/containers
– Make sure any protective structures you may have such as greenhouses and cold frames are clean and in good condition

6 – Support local wildlife
– Birds and other wildlife are preparing for the coming winter
– Leaving seed heads, particularly on plants such as thistles and sunflowers provides food to birds
– Leaving herbaceous borders intact will provide shelter and warmth for small mammals
– Also disinfect bird feeders and tables to maintain hygiene

7 – Keep looking out for our pollinators
– Pollinators will still be needing nectar
– If you have any gaps in your garden add later flowering (bee-friendly) plants (check out our September Polly & Nate Club pick)

8 – Plan ahead
– If you are planting a new tree or hedging – we are approaching bare root season! (October/November-March)
– September is a great time for planting – any trees and shrubs would have enough time to become established and grow vigorously by spring  

By Nadia Hallwood