September is the real start of Spring, often accompanied by highly unpredictable weather!

The 2022 Winter has been one of plenty of rain along with some hard frosts, leaving the ground wet and cold and making it difficult to ready the soil for planting. I think it will be advisable to wait until ground conditions improve before working on the soil, this may mean delaying by a week or two before starting to plant or sow seeds. September is the time to sow the seeds of plants that need warmer temperatures to grow, it takes about six weeks from sowing for the plants to be ready for planting out, so seeds sown in the middle of the month should be ready to plant out by the end of October.

The green house is where a lot of time can be spent - from planting tomatoes and sowing seeds to taking cuttings of chrysanthemums and other perennials. I'm also starting my tuberous begonias and dahlias and chitting potatoes, all in all making it a very busy month!

Fruit trees will be coming into bloom and care needs to be taken if spraying for diseases, especially on stone fruit. Research the right time for spraying to get the best results and ensure the protection of  bees.

Lawns will be starting to grow so now is the time to give them some fertiliser and treat for moss and weeds. Repairs to bare areas and a top dress in any low areas of the lawn will help prepare the grass for the Summer. Shrubs that have completed flowering will benefit from a prune to keep them in shape and help next season's flowering.

Citrus plants should be fertilised later in the month, just as they begin to move into growth. A spray with conquer oil now will control any scale that is on the plants.

Spring bulbs are in full bloom and will need to have spent flowers removed to ensure the bulb will flower again next year.

I grow a lot of plants in pots and like to have any that need repotting moved on by the end of the month using a premium quality potting mix.

The start of the growing season is busy but much of what is started this month will give the results later on as the season progresses. Do what is needed today and tomorrow will look after itself!

Good Gardening, Michael Coulter

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