‘Start moving plants’: 10 ‘key’ gardening tasks to do now – from pruning to planting

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As we move further towards September, experts have said it is very important to prepare the garden for colder weather conditions. This means gardeners should move tender plants indoors before the cold hits and make final trimmings on hedges. Chris Bonnett, founder of GardeningExpress.co.uk, said: “Now is the perfect time to give your garden a head start and prep it ahead of autumn and winter.

“After such a dry summer, one of your key focuses should be your lawn. Now is the time to replant and replenish with fertiliser and seed.

“Combined with the upcoming rainfall, lawns will readily restore themselves over the next season. It’s also a good idea to start moving plants inside before the temperature drops.”

1. Return tender plants indoors

Before the temperature drops, Britons should return any houseplants that they moved outside during the summer months back indoors.

Other delicate plants such as the acer, which is susceptible to cold wind, may also be bought inside.

2. Prune, tidy and weed

The expert explained: “Now is the prime time to tidy up summer flowers and sort out the remains of any summer fruits. If you are growing roses and they’ve finished flowering then now is the perfect time to prune them too. 

“Take the straw out of your strawberry plants and trim any messy raspberry plants too.”

3. Divide herbaceous perennials 

Dividing perennials means that plants can keep performing, and it is important to do this when the soil is dry.

Chris said: “Place a fork in the centre of the plant and gently move it back and forth to separate the plant. Repeat to divide into more sections.”

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4. Collect and sow seeds from perennials 

The gardening expert added: “You can collect seeds by cutting open flower heads with a sharp pair of scissors. 

“Once collected, clean the seeds and leave them to dry completely for around a week before planting.”

5. Trim hedges

Trimming hedges now will ensure they stay nice and neat throughout the autumn and winter months.

According to the expert, this will also prepare them to evenly distribute the weight of any potential snowfall.

6. Install water butts

Chris said: “Place some water butts in your garden to collect rainwater this coming autumn and winter. Recycling water is not only sustainable, but couldn’t be more straight-forward. 

“If you already have water butts installed, clear out the current rainwater in preparation for the upcoming wet weather.”

7. Refresh the lawn

After a dry summer, lawns across the UK are suffering with patchy, yellow spots.

To help it survive the winter months, rake the lawn, re-seed any bare patches and use a feed or fertiliser that is rich in potassium.

The expert added: “This is the perfect time to take action as autumnal weather is ideal for establishing a healthy lawn.”

8. Plant shrubs

If there is rainfall during September and the temperatures are mild, take advantage by planting some shrubs.

According to Chris, these weather conditions will help to establish themselves much more easily.

9. Plant autumn vegetables

The gardening expert continued: “Perhaps even visit your allotment so that you can plant hardy winter greens, turnips, beetroots, and kale. 

“This simple preparation will guarantee some delicious Sunday roasts and soups in the coming months.”

10. Plant spring bulbs

The key to a thriving garden is all about planning ahead, and while it may seem early, getting ahead of schedule is a good idea.

Chris said September and October are the “best times” to plant spring bulbs for the following year.

He added: “The temperatures will have cooled. Planting now will ensure a beautiful display in time for spring.”

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