SEPTEMBER - HEAD GARDENER PLANNER & CHECKLIST

Be ready for any weather.

Mill Dean Garden - image: Flickr/Karen Roe (CC BY 2.0)
Mill Dean Garden - image: Flickr/Karen Roe (CC BY 2.0)

Winds Make sure leaf collectors and blowers are ready for work and check chainsaws in case of limb damage. Keep stocks of "danger" tape to hand to close off sections of the garden if necessary. Consider chainsaw training courses for any new staff. If you contract out your tree work, have a list of telephone numbers to hand for emergency call-outs.

Frost Service boilers and check heating systems. Organise space for overwintering tender plants that must be brought indoors and have Hessian sacking or insulation films ready for those that can stay outside.

Rain Check all your drainage pipes and ditches.

Staff clothing Make sure that all staff have appropriate winter clothing, including boots and gloves.

Planting Now is a good time to construct heather beds or restock tired beds and borders. Sites should be prepared for new tree and shrub plantings. Check that sufficient shelters, guards, stakes and ties are to hand if required. Planting climbers and wall plants now will take advantage of any warmth left in the soil and should encourage root action before winter sets in.

Roses Mildew and blackspot may need treatment until the end of October. Finish pruning ramblers and fasten securely to support ahead of autumn gales.

Bulbs & corms Plant narcissi, spring-flowering crocuses, bulbous irises, scillas and Muscari. Lilies, except Lilium candidum, can be planted. Tulips and hyacinths can wait until the end of the month.

New plants & seeds Check nursery catalogues and make any final orders of plants, especially roses. Request seed catalogues. Collect pods and berries for your own seed.

Pruning Continue cutting down yellowing stems and removing plant debris from herbaceous borders. Give another light trim to hedges.

Prepare for repairs Winter months are an ideal time to repair pathways, terraces, walls and fencing, picnic tables, benches, statuary and plants. Assess such items now so that materials and preservatives can be ordered or contractors booked in to do the work. Make sure leaf collectors and blowers are ready for work and check chainsaws in case of limb damage. Keep stocks of "danger" tape to hand to close off sections of the garden if necessary. Consider chainsaw training courses for any new staff. If you contract out your tree work, have a list of telephone numbers to hand for emergency call-outs.


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