This is the SEPTEMBER installment of Horticulture Week's month-by-month guide to essential maintenance and management tasks for parks, gardens and grounds maintenance staff.

Update pesticide records
Update sowing records
Organise holiday cover as needed
Order plants from nurseries, especially roses, and look at seed catalogues
Organise emergency numbers for contractors to deal with urgent gale-damage
Control weeds, pests and diseases
Spot treat perennial weeds
Water as needed
Make sure leaf collectors are functioning and prepare compost bins
Begin clearing autumn debris as it arises
Check drainage pipes and ditches ahead of autumn rain

Trees, shrubs and hedges
Inspect for wind damage and check ties and stakes
Move evergreen shrubs
Plant container-grown trees and shrubs

Beds and borders
Deadhead faded flowers
Plant out spring-flowering biennials
Dig clay soils before they become too wet
Plant new perennials
Continue collecting seed from perennials
Support Michaelmas daisies
Cut down and divide perennials that have finished flowering
Lift tender perennials before they succumb to frosts
Add organic material to soil
Sow hardy annuals for next year

Wall plants
Prune climbing roses

Plant spring-flowering bulbs
Plant bulbs to naturalise in grass areas
Lift gladioli towards the end of the month

Stop feeding trees and shrubs grown in containers
Plant up with spring
Move tender subjects indoors
Plant bulbs

Greenhouses and conservatories
Check for panes loosened by gales
Reduce watering and ventilation
Clean and start preparing for winter
Service heating system
Remove shading if not already done

Water features
Inspect regularly for algae bloom and treat accordingly
Top up if weather remains hot and sunny

*Jobs should only be undertaken when ground and weather conditions are suitable and will vary according to location and may vary significantly from year to year. And remember that while the year nicely divides into 12 months, activities often overlap.

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