In the garden - September

The days are getting shorter and cooler as we progress into September, but there's still plenty to do in the garden. Make the most of fine days as it'll soon be turning cooler as thoughts turn to Winter.

Here are some things to be getting on with in September.

If you still have potatoes in the ground it may be a good idea to dig up the remaining potato crop before slug damage spoils them
If you still have potatoes in the ground it may be a good idea to dig up the remaining potato crop before slug damage spoils them

It's harvest time

A well planned garden will be rewarding you with a bountiful harvest. Autumn fruit raspberries need to be picked regularly. If your raspberry bushes are producing more fruit than you can use then you could freeze the excess raspberries or try making jams, sauces and desserts.

If you still have potatoes in the ground it may be a good idea to dig up the remaining potato crop before slug damage spoils them. Try to pick a warm dry day so that you can leave the cropped potatoes on the surface of the soil to dry out a little before storing them.

Plant spring bulbs now for colour next year
Plant spring bulbs now for colour next year

Prepare for Spring colour

A good gardener always has an eye on the future. Forward planning is the key to ensuring your garden has all round interest and now is a great time to plant spring flowering bulbs for that splash of colour as we come out of Winter.

Whether planted in containers or borders, bulbs make a fine display and the sight of snowdrops, daffodils and tulips in springtime is a real sign that the garden is waking from its winter slumber.

Protect remaining crops with netting

It's not just you doing the harvesting. Birds, especially pigeons, are also looking to the garden for food. They can peck away at leaves, quickly turning a healthy looking plant into nothing more than a stalk with a few sorry looking leaf veins.

Brassicas and peas are particularly susceptible, so it's a good idea to cover winter or over-wintering crops with bird-proof netting. Make sure you pull the netting tight to reduce the risk of birds getting caught in the netting.

Winter brassicas can look particularly temping to a pigeon when they are poking through snow which is covering anything else they may feed on at this time of year.

Scaring devices such as shiny foil tape blowing in the breeze or noise/ultrasound emitting bird repellents - but these may become less effective as the birds get used to them.

Houseplants are likely to need less watering now we're in September
Houseplants are likely to need less watering now we're in September

Jobs to do inside the home

It's not just the garden that needs attention, plants in the house need some care too.

Now that the days are getting shorter, and temperatures cooler, house plants probably don't need as much watering. It's a good idea to set a reminder to prompt you to water houseplants so that you don't forget, but when watering check the pots needs water before adding water to already moist pots and risking waterlogging the roots.

If you can, fill your watering can with water and allow it to stand the day before you plan to water. This helps to bring cold, freshly draw water up to room temperatures, and also chlorine from tap water has time to dissipate as it can be toxic to some plants.

Give indoor plants a good soaking so that water starts to escape through the drainage holes. Better to water well and less often that just wet the top of the soil regularly which risks the water not reaching the roots.