After the hot August, high summer is winding down and turning into late summer. It is no longer so hot and cools down pleasantly in the evening. Nevertheless, there is still a lot of gardening work waiting for you on the balcony, in the garden or on the terrace. On the one hand you can plant autumn flowers, herbs and winter vegetables, on the other hand now is the best time for planting berry bushes and fruit trees. You should also prepare the lawn for winter and make the garden winter-proof.
In September, prepare your lawn for the winter months. Do not cut it too short, otherwise the roots will not be sufficiently protected from the cold. Scarify the lawn one last time, aerate compacted areas, clay soils or areas with waterlogging with the garden fork and repair bare patches with reseeding. Remove all foliage so that the lawn does not rot and fungi do not form. Strengthen the lawn with a potassium-rich fertiliser, not a slow-release fertiliser. This will prepare your lawn for the cold winter.
In September you should replace all faded plants with those that will bloom in winter or spring and at the same time prepare the ornamental garden for next summer:
Dig up frost-sensitive freesia and gladiolus bulbs and store them in the cellar until spring. Evergreen plants such as boxwood, yew or rhododendron can be transplanted, hedges and perennials should be cut back and dead or diseased shoots removed.
What you have grown in summer is ripe now at the latest. Enjoy cauliflower, lamb's lettuce, fennel, kale, cucumbers, carrots, potatoes, kohlrabi, pumpkin, chard, hot peppers, radishes, Brussels sprouts, celery, spinach, tomatoes or onions fresh from your garden. Nevertheless, the gardening season is far from over:
You should underlay pumpkins with straw or place them on upturned clay trays so that they are protected from the rising soil moisture and are not attacked by fungi. If it gets cold at night at the end of September, you can protect your vegetable garden from the cold with a biodegradable mulch fleece or a mulch layer of leaves and straw.
In September you can harvest lemon balm and thyme a second time. Cut the stems halfway up and dry the aromatic herbs in bundles. For basil, rosemary or sage, harvest only the shoot tips. Some kitchen herbs such as dill, garden cress, chervil, parsley, chives or mustard can be sown directly into the bed in September. Larger perennials such as curry herb, tarragon or thyme can be divided now and replanted separately.
In September, nature spoils us with lots of fruit and berries. Now apples, pears, blackberries, raspberries, elderberries, cranberries and plums are fully ripe. If you only harvest fruit when it is dry, you avoid pressure marks and mould. In addition, the fruit will stay fresh longer. Despite the abundant harvest, you should already be thinking about next year:
September is the best time to plant autumn-blooming flowers such as chrysanthemums, Christmas roses, geraniums, heather plants, horned violets, purple bells or mock berries in balcony boxes, raised beds and plant pots. Place all cold-sensitive plants in places protected from the wind and cold, for example close to a house wall. It is better to repot frost-sensitive plants in frost-proof containers so that they survive the cold winter. Water all balcony and terrace plants regularly during the winter months, but only on frost-free days.
Many houseplants are now entering a vegetative rest period, so they need few nutrients. Fertilise them one last time or reduce the amount and frequency. You should also water them less than in summer to protect them from fungi. Make sure that the plants have enough light. If not, move them, preferably to a window. Even in autumn and winter, there are houseplants that bloom (up) under the right conditions. For example, amaryllis, begonias, flamingo flowers, camellias, orchids, Christmas cacti or indoor azaleas.
September brings the first cold nights and the first autumn storms. Secure your garden furniture from gales with ropes and protect it from wind and weather and especially heavy rainfall with tarpaulins or protective covers.
Have your beds been ravaged by slugs? Then you should take precautions in September so that this does not happen again next year. First, search all the beds for slugs or slug eggs and remove them all. Then protect the beds with a slug fence or a natural protective ring of lime or litter. Although it is getting cooler, many pests are still active. Continue to inspect all plants for aphids or other pests.
When it gets colder, hedgehogs and other useful garden inhabitants are grateful for a winter home. For example, layered wood or a pile of leaves. For insects such as ladybirds butterflies, wasps or wild bees, which will again destroy the pests in your garden next year, you should hang or mount an insect hotel.
In hot August, the main thing is to provide all the plants with enough water. But there is more work to do in the garden and on the balcony.
In March, nature slowly but surely awakens from hibernation. Now it is time to prepare the garden and balcony for the summer half-year.