September Gardening Tips
Strictly For Newbie Herb Growers

Heh! Autumn has arrived and so has the September gardening tips for this month`s calendar. We need a little help to keep up with nature. Can`t hang around. Do you feel the chill in the air?

sage in SeptemberSage

Doing the small but important tasks in this month`s calendar will boost your confidence that all your hard work will not go down the pan once winter has arrived. Instead your little herb garden will grow to maturity as you see everything sprout anew in Spring.

Keep in mind that depending on what kind and size of garden you have, not everything will be relevant here.

Refresh For Next Year

I am talking about the soil our herbs are sitting in. Keep your plants looking good and healthy not just by feeding them during the growing season but by giving them a supercharge of ready nourished soil next year when Sping has sprung into action again.

Not all your plants will benefit from this because in general most herbs thrive in impoverished soil. So read up on each of them.

How to do it

Rake off a couple of centimetres from the top of the soil but if it has sunk lower because of heavy rain and watering, just leave it as it is and top with a good mulch or compost. The frost and snow will release the nutrients into the soil ready to receive their hosts next April/May.

Don't do this with your potted plants. The herbs that need protecting can just be put in the greenhouse for wintering. Replant them in new compost in the Spring.

The Dos and Don`ts

The Dos

Cuttings – Take cuttings from  Lemon Verbena, French Lavender, Hebe, Salvia (sage)

Fleece – Get the fleece ready! Winter is not far off. Herbs are generally very hardy plants. Some of them can even survive severe temperatures of -10 to -15 celsius (13 to -1 farenheit)

That is cold! But some are not so hardy and need a little help. Here is where the fleece comes in. You can also use bubble wrap. I also use a tarpaulin for overnight protection when temperatures really dip but I make sure it's well ventilated the next day if the weather doesn't give way.

Plant  – Garlic. A repeat for September gardening tips is to continue to plant cloves of garlic. They can be planted during several consecutive Autumn months.

The Greenhouse  – If you have one start warming it at the end of the month. Another good tip I picked up is to add bubble wrap to the windows if they are glass which will help keep the temperature a little higher.

Pruning –  Finish pruning climbing vines and ramblers. For example, Hops and Passion Flower.

The Don`ts

Watering – Don't water so much. Compost and soil will not evaporate quickly now the days are cooler.

The next day? – Don`t procrastinate! Do the jobs that are a priority and important today!

Collecting Seeds

PickMarigolds heads can now be picked for the seeds or for teas and tinctures but keep some blooming if you like the display.

Shake - Collect herb seeds by shaking the stalks in a paper bag.

Plan – Sort and select a variety of herb seeds to propagate next year.

  • Dill – pick and dry heads first.
  • Lovage – pick and dry stems first.
  • Red Valerian
  • Sage
  • Sunflowers
  • Yarrow

Rooting Runners

Strawberries – cut off any runners and cover parent plants with cloches or place straw around the plant to protect the roots. Keep the runners that have rooted and plant in pots or the ground.

Salad herbs – sow under cloches for late crops.

Best Of The September Gardening Tips

Lemon verbena and Hyssop

Go Herb Shopping! – Yes, go on! Treat yourself for all your hard work.

Why this suggestion now and not in Spring? Well, now is the time gardening centres are reducing their prices. You can pick up some great bargains but be prepared to give your new orphans a lot of TLC.

No, it's not a plant food but stands for tender loving care. Plants that are going cheap are usually looking a bit droopy and worn. I have lots of plants that started life that way but now they are really thriving.

The lemon verbena and hyssop that I bought were is good condition though. All due credit to the Hairy Pot Plant Company. Their pots are made from coconut husks.

String up your chilli peppers! – I read this tip in an old gardening magazine.  Thread them through the caps at the top so rot doesn't set in. They look really eye catching as a decoration. Just pull them off when you want to cook up something hot. (photo coming soon! Haven`t strung mine yet.)

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