From Michael Coulter

September is the month in which Spring growth really gets going. The Spring bulbs are in full bloom and deciduous plants come into life.

The weather is still very changeable and there is always the danger of frosts that can damage new growth; this makes for a very busy time in the garden.

Ground preparation for sowing seeds and transplanting seedlings should be completed, old Winter crops removed to make way for Summer plantings and the last of Winter pruning completed.

Some Summer flowering perennials such as chrysanthemums, dahlias, carnations, petunias etc. can be propagated by cuttings using the fresh new growth.Gladiola corms can be planted and the begonia corns started off in a well draining potting mix with the top of the corm level with the potting mix.

As the flowers finish on the bulbs and annuals remove the dead flowers to encourage more.

Weeds also grow at a fast rate now making weeding one of the important tasks, otherwise they will smoother our plants.

The lawns will start to grow more rapidly and will benefit from some fertiliser, weed control, moss control and regular mowing.

Fruit trees are beginning to flower and come into leaf at this time. They will need to have some treatment for pests and diseases that will effect the fruit later on.

In the vegetable garden planting and seed sowing starts with the more hardier types peas, carrots, lettuce, silverbeet, beetroot, cabbage etc. Plan the garden so that the crops are producing in succession and you have a continuous supply.

Early potatoes may be planted and main crop potatoes chitted for planting later on.

In unheated green houses tomatoes and other tender plants may be planted. Choose only the sturdiest well grown plants to get the best results.

Spring flowering trees and shrubs should be pruned as soon as they have finished flowering.

Citrus should be given their Spring fertiliser just as they move into growth and any pruning done to keep their shape and to allow air to flow through the plant.

Happy gardening, Michael Coulter

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