September is a fantastic time to be alive for us gardeners! The chill is almost gone from the mornings, and the afternoons are getting longer. Blossoms are bursting and you can smell spring in the air wherever you go. If you have been hibernating through winter now is the time to get out and into it. Read on for some fabulous September gardening advice for your area.
Improve Your Soil
Prepare your Yummy Yard for spring planting by improving your soil. Lightly dig over the soil popping in plenty of organic matter including top-notch compost and well rotted manure. Don’t forget to mulch the beds with a straw mulch. This bed will be awesome come planting time… and you will have the greatest Yummy Yard in the street!
Try some colour
Why not try some lovely colour in your patch as well like nasturtium, snapdragons, phlox, petunias, marigolds (French) and celosia. They are great at attracting pollinators and beneficial insects to your patch, and they look fantastic as well. Now is the time to plant some sunflower seeds. Find a sunny spot where you would like to see some happy sunflowers later in the year and plant the seeds to double the depth of the seed. Cover lightly with dirt and wait… they’ll be popping their heads up in no time!
Citrus Gall Wasp
Check your citrus trees for gall wasp and remove affected sections by pruning well below the gall. Don’t compost this, just pop it in a bag and toss it in your normal bin. This is your absolute last chance to do this before they hatch out and take over the world, so don’t put this off!\
Top up mulch on your vegie patches, herb gardens and ornamental beds. Choose a sustainable, low environmental impact mulch, one that will enrich your soil as it breaks down.
Look after your tools
On really cold days, why not head out to the shed and sharpen, clean, oil and maintain your garden tools. Sounds tedious, but it’s really rewarding, and will save you cash and plant illness in the long run.
Now is a great time to re-pot your Indoor Plants. Give them a bit of a feed with a seaweed tonic afterwards to keep them happy.
Below you will find more information that is specific to different regions and climates in Australia.
Frost free or occasional light frosts (North from about Coffs Harbour and all the way across to the west to Geraldton)
- Spring into it! There is so much ready to go, so why not plant some rocket, silverbeet, spring onions, Chinese cabbage, mizuna, lettuce, tatsoi, zucchini, pumpkin, leeks, capsicum, cucumber, eggplant, tomatoes and watermelon.
- In the herb patch, pop in some parsley, sweet basil, chamomile, dill, coriander, marjoram, oregano, catnip and thyme. Also try mint, but keep it in a pot, as it has a tendency to take over.
- Feeling fruity? It’s time to plant passionfruit, paw paw, avocados, banana, citrus and macadamias. If your tastes are a little more exotic, try putting in a guava… they’re tough plants and the fruit is sensational!
- Consider a green manure crop to add some life and love to an overworked patch. At this time of year, try millet, lablab, amaranth or mung bean. This will improve your soil incredibly and you’ll find it well worth the effort! Green manure crops like faba beans, barley, lupin, wheat or field peas are also good to go now.
Cool to Cold Areas
Low temperatures for extended periods of time (all of Tasmania, most of Victoria, the southern highlands of NSW and a tiny southern bit of SA)
- There’s a bit happening in the vegie patch so you could try leeks, onions, parsley, parsnips, cauliflower, peas, radish, silverbeet, lettuce, swedes and turnips. Don’t you just love the start of spring?
- Don’t get over excited… it’s too early for tomatoes just yet!
- In the herb patch pop in some chamomile, dill, coriander, echinacea, catnip and thyme. Also try lemon balm but keep it in a pot, as it has a tendency to take over! Plant these after the frost risk has passed.
- Green manure crops like faba beans, barley, lupin, wheat or field peas are good to go now… improve that dormant vegie patch!
Occasional winter frosts (pretty much the rest of Australia, most of the inland, some areas of Victoria, most of SA and the southern area of WA)
- Leap into springtime gardening, especially in your vegie patch! Try celery, silverbeet, lettuces, leeks, spring onions, climbing beans, cucumber, sweet corn, tomato, carrot, Jeruslaum artichokes and radishes. Wait until the frosts have finished.
- Get into herbs in the ‘burbs with parsley, chives, catnip, sage, oregano, rosemary, thyme and marjoram.
- Feeling fruity? It’s time to plant blueberries, passionfruit, paw paw, avocados, banana, citrus trees, olives (non-weedy varieties). If your tastes are a little more exotic, try putting in a guava… they’re tough plants and the fruit is sensational!
- Green manure crops like chick pea and barley are good to go now… improve that dormant vegie patch!
Of course, this is just a rough guide, and many of you will find your situation varies from the above due to microclimates created in your garden, location in relation to your nearest major city, extremes of weather and garden type.
Happy springtime gardening, see you next month!
Bagnall, Lyn, Easy organic gardening and moon planting, published by Scribe Publications, VIC.
Peach Blossom pic by Tracey Martin (SGA)