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Gardening Hints and Tips for September 2023

Mulch bare soil As crops and flowers are lifted and the ground becomes free, mulch it with 3-5cm of well-rotted manure, spent mushroom compost or garden compost. Over the course of the year, worms will pull it into the soil, so there’s no need to dig or fork it in.

Remove greenhouse shading

As light levels begin to decrease, it’s time to remove shading from the greenhouse. Shade netting can simply be removed and stored for next year, while shading paint needs to be rubbed off.

Harvest crops Pumpkins and squash should be raised off the ground to ripen in the sun before harvesting. If the weather is wet, cut them early and bring them in to ripen in a greenhouse or sunny windowsill. To cure the fruits for storage, keep them in a warm room for a fortnight, then put them somewhere dry and cool but frost-free.

Buy spring bulbs Most bulbs are ready to plant straight away, with the exception of tulips, which are best left until November to avoid the disease tulip fire. Whether you’re buying online, or in a garden centre or supermarket, look for named varieties and buy the biggest size bulbs you can for the best display of flowers. Plant the bulbs at three times the height of the bulb.

Divide perennials Some perennials, such as sedums, will benefit from being divided every few years to keep the clump growing vigorously. Scarify and aerate established lawns Sow hardy annuals to flower next year Cover ponds with netting to prevent leaves falling in

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