August and September is also the ideal time to take new shoots on plants. Choose sturdy, half-mature side shoots, no longer than is necessary, and make a straight cut immediately below ajoint. Remove any leaves from the lower half.
Dip the bottom of the cutting into hormone rooting powder and insert around the side of a pot filled with a sui table cutting compost. (If you are buying the compost, it will be specified on the label.) Water and place in a cold frame to leave over the winter. Cold
frames can either be homemade or bought from a horticultural centre.
Mid to later summer is also the time to take semi
hardwood cuttings from most evergreens, heathers and conifers. Cut them three to four inches in length, just below a node, a stem joint where there are leaves, buds or side shoots.
Cuttings of heather need only be one to two inches long. Root them in a mixture of half peat and half sand again in a cold frame. Plants such as clematis, however, need to be propagated by taking the semi-hardwood stem cuttings, and dipping them into rooting powder incorporating a fungicide. Insert a mixture of peat and sand, and cover with plastic to maintain the humidity until the roots have formed.
Towards the end of the summer, apply feed of a general-purpose fertiliser to the lawn. If there are areas
where you need new lawn then September is again the time to put down grass seed. September sees the beginning of autumn, which is the best time for planting shrubs and conifers. The soil is still warm and with the gentle rain and encourages good root development prior to the onset of winter. This is also the ideal time to move
evergreen trees and shrubs. When transplanting, keep the roots out of the ground for as short a time as possible.
According to Ian Rankin, Horticulture Product Manager at Homebase, in September there are masses of bedding plants such as
pansies, violas, minicyclamen, ornamental cabbages and hebes that are available to create attractive displays which will last into the winter.
'Chrysanthemums, for example, make a stunning display and come in a variety
of colours. September, too, is the time to plan your garden for the following year and to plant bulbs for a spring
If chosen carefully, you can have a succession of colour from the first snowdrops and iris's in January through to daffodils and tulips in May. Begin with crocuses, daffodils, hyacinth, scillas and
If in doubt or you just want some advice, most garden centres have a horticultural expert who can help you.
Gardening tips for July, August and September
Mow lawns at least once a week
Keep hedges trimmed
Water the garden at the end of the day unless the soil is damp from rain
Water any pots and hanging baskets
Be vigilant with the weeding
Lift out spring bulbs
Dead-head plants that have died
Take pictures of the garden
Plan the garden for the next year
Order spring bulbs
Plant shrubs and conifers
Plant containers for autumn colour
Buy and plant out autumn bedding plants
Put down seeds for the new lawn
Web site created by Mark Griffin