What to Do in the Garden in September

Written by Living Earth for Auckland Landscape Supplies Customers

The Veggie Bed

  • Spring has arrived and the range of veggies you can grow just got a whole lot wider with the warm spring weather: there are plenty of colourful lettuces that look really good in the veggie plot, plus rocket or mesclun mix, varieties that you can pick as you go. Or sow some Chinese snow peas – they cost a fortune to buy at the supermarket and fresh from the garden, the taste is unbelievable.
  • Soil for the veggie bed: we make our Living Earth Organic Veggie Mix especially for you to grow safe, healthy veggies at home. It contains our fantastic Living Earth Compost and every batch we make has been rigorously tested, so we know you’re getting the best brew in which to grow your food. Veggie Mix has a fantastic texture, organic fertilisers and is 100% weed free.
  • Don’t forget the spuds – they’ll need a few weeks to sprout before you plant, (just store them in a dry place ‘til the ‘eyes’ are a couple of cm long). And you can plant yams, parsnips and pumpkins now too.
  • School holidays start later this month – Grab a few hours with the children and get some seeds going, so they can have their own garden experience. Any leftover Living Earth Lawn Mix is an ideal seed-raising mix, with its fertiliser and free-draining texture. Successful seeds for kids include carrots, peas, and radishes (most children won’t eat radishes, but they give a quick result through the holiday fortnight and honestly, they’re excellent sliced through coleslaw). Do not forget giant sunflowers, or if you’re limited by space order Sunflower ‘Teddy Bear’ or ‘Incredible Dwarf’

The Rest of the Garden

  • Soil Conditioning: It’s important to get the soil right for both established plants and new additions you’ll be adding to the garden. A good soil has excellent structure and nutrients and you can add this by digging in plenty of our 100% weed free Living Earth Compost. Come summer, it will aid water retention too.
  • We are often asked: What do I add to existing beds of garden that are a couple of years old? More Living Earth Compost of course – treat it like conditioning ordinary garden soils.
  • Planting: Once your soil’s ready there are plenty of trees, shrubs and annuals available now. Just remember that from now on, plants in small containers and planter bags dry out very quickly, so soak every plant in a bucket of water until the bubbles stop rising. That way you can be sure the roots are nice and moist before they go into the ground.

And remember, our Garden Mix is a fantastic complete planting mix for all this season’s gardening...

  • Climbers: It’s a great time to establish climbers against an existing wall, or a climbing frame. Choose from big flowered hybrid clematis or our NZ beauty, Clematis paniculata, or there’s the showy pandorea or the Chinese star jasmine, Trachelospernum jasminoides. If you’re into growing food, climbing edibles include passionfruit, grapes, cocktail size kiwifruit, as well as berry fruits such as loganberry and boysenberry.
  • Plant a hedge: Low hedges such as buxus, corokia or lavender can go in now, as can taller pittosporum, Eugenia (lillypilly) and griselinia. (Griselinia needs some trichopel in the planting soil to ward off its enemy, the pathogen Phytophthora). After planting, all of these varieties would benefit from a light trim, to get them even and start them growing together as a hedge.

The Flower Garden

  • Much has been written lately about the need for more natural gardens. Increased numbers of flowers attract beneficial insects that will keep the numbers of garden nasties at bay. It’s true that, on balance the more flowering interest you can provide over the spring through to autumn, the better chance you have of attracting the pollinators and the predator insects. So choose a wide range of flowering plants this year (add some salvias and lavenders for late season blooms) and be selective about deadheading – if a cluster of garden friendlies is showing interest long after the flowers have gone to seed, leave the spent blooms on a few more weeks...

The Lawn

  • As the soil temperature rises, grass begins to grow quickly. Use our Living Earth Lawn Mix or Ultrasoil to fill in dips in the lawn and layer our Lawn Mix to a depth of around 30mm if you are sowing new turf. It’s a free-draining mix, a blend of compost, fine bark and sand and we’ve added fertiliser, so the germinating seed will establish quickly.
  • Irrigation is a must when sowing lawns – daily until at least 10 days after germination, then regularly through spring and summer.
  • It’s still good time to spray or dig out tenacious broadleaf weeds, so that new grass can fill these spaces. It’s also time to get rid of Onehunga Weed, the prickly little plant that is the scourge of children running barefoot across the grass in summer.
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