september in the garden…

I’ve not done a column like this on the blog before so if you see something thats not here – just leave a comment – I’ll know the next time 😉 I’ll also drop in a little music from these lads because this piece ended a little longer than I thought it would. I find I can read better with music when the article is a little longer. I dislike very much the ever copy and pasted 5 pointer one liners that reappear in the usual gardening columns so I’ve tried to make this a little different[ish]. I hope you enjoy it

What should you be doing in your garden this September. I emphasise on should because….. the rain has been so rediculous the last weeks months in Ireland. According to Met Eireann

The Weather for July 2009 – Wettest July for over 50 years in many places; near normal temperatures and sunshine

lawns september lawns-september lawnmower donegan landscaping

This has made it extremely difficult for almost any sort of normal gardening. Grass cutting has just about been stricken right off the to do list whilst grass growth has accelerated dramatically. This is mainly due to the fact that temperatures are remaining over the 15 – 17 celcius and rainfall/ humidity levels are so high. In most cases even if a dry day is given – grass cutting may still not be possible unless unwanted mechanical damage is to be avoided. Lets hope this changes for a week or two in September. I would also recommend a good slow release fertiliser is applied.

With that in mind spraying is also becoming an increasingly impossible task. A period of dryness in both surface and rainfall before any application can take place. Once again the problem here is that our monsoon like conditions cannot distinct between what maybe considered a weed or simply a plant. These high temperatures/ rainfall and humidity levels have caused mayhem for potatoe growers with the high risk of blight. That said most potatoe growers have sprayed the surface of the fields with acid to kill off the top growth of the plant. Now it is simply a case of getting into the field.

chickens-september ireland beech hedges espallied-trees

My chickens had stopped laying for about the last two weeks just gone. I’m told by my good friend Paddy that they don’t like the wet so much and this unsettling causes them to stop laying. Paddy also explained to me that they should start losing their feathers in the next coming weeks and although they will return to laying it won’t be that of one each per day.

You may also notice on some varieties of trees that leaf yellowing has begun. In particular on the Tilia and some varieties of Sorbus. It’s nothing to be too concerned about. Simply a reminder that leaf fall isn’t that far away. With that in mind the better value season for tree planting is on the horizon. If you are thining of planting a tree[s] – now is the time to plan for that. Pick the where and consider the eventual height/ flowers etc….

lettuce plants herb-garden-september growing seeds indoors

My lettuce plants are tyring to come to there life cycle end and produce seed. I keep pinching the heads off them so that they’ll keep producing leaves. From the plants point of view once it reproduces its job is done. Essentially I’m fighting a losing battle versus nature. Naure will win… but not just yet. That siad, my sorrell plants have boomed this year mainly because I haven’t been so reliant on them. For your herb garden – don’t be afraid to give the herb beds a bit of a hoe and a clip. Any greens can of course be fed to the hens. You can of course contiue to grow your basil, mustards and cress indoors – but make sure and use a south facing window… it’s gonna start getting dark earlier soon.

apple trees blackberries fruit-trees-disease

It is fruit season…. My apple trees are in fruit at this moment. I prefer to wait until there is some fruit drop before picking myself. But not all did so well. Tis come back a little to the weather we had with some yellowing, insects affected leaves…. leaf drop is nigh and nature ill soon rid the aphids. Blackberries are also almost there and should be coming in quite soon and the rhubarb has come back into leaf.

Whilst it maybe difficult to get out and do all the things you want to do… my advice is to do indoors what you can. The hanging baskets can almost be replaced with some beautiful winter flowering heathers. Modern slow release fertilisers now ensure that another dressing is not required until next season. Different types are available so do be careful. One for lawns and a seperate one then for shrubs and bedding and trees. Mulching of the beds will also help especially for the more tender plants to warm them slightly and to control weeds. I’m gonna go and plant my runner bean plants now….

Whatever you do – do get out – do enjoy and don’t forget to tell me off if I’ve missed anything out here 🙂

never mind the weather this is ireland


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6 replies
  1. Brendan
    Brendan says:

    Great post. Apples are a bit sparse this year all right. Should I wait till spring to tame some of the bigger shrubs that got out of control this summer?

  2. Peter Donegan MI Hort
    Peter Donegan MI Hort says:

    personally – i’d do it as soon as, if they are un-cut longer than one season ie. not this side of spring/ winter

    However, if you have done it since december/ spring I would wait until leaf fall starts and then go for broke.

    ‘the book’ usually recommends ‘the best time’ based on getting the best return from your shrubs ie. flower/ fruit etc.

    depending on you may have nothing to lose.
    lemme know how you get on mate 😉


  3. Alison
    Alison says:

    Hi Peter. I wonder do you mean broad beans? I didn’t know you could plant runner beans this time of year, even indoors. My Liquidamber is looking very autumnal, like its wishing the year away.

  4. Peter Donegan MI Hort
    Peter Donegan MI Hort says:

    Hi Alison

    nope. runner beans is what I meant. Phaseolus coccineus to be exact. But…. this image of my runner bean plants used here was taken about 3 odd weeks ago. I still have them in my wee bokedy old glasshouse you see and need to plant them outside… still….

    That said – planting recommendations are based on average mean temperatures and with a 14 – 17 celcius average/ today it is still possible to achieve germination and go against the rule book considering the mean temp in Ireland for July would only be about 14 celcius; and where 12-14 celcius would be a requirement for most seed germination I’m still good.

    On the other hand I [like so many others] didn’t have much luck with the broad beans this year…. nature has a funny way sometimes of dealing with plant species 😉

    re the liquidamber – in my opinion they were always a bunch of fussy boots anyway. Glorious in their splender when they decided they felt like growing…. but fussy old goats when they decided against 🙄 an odd year for them nonetheless…. the joys of the garden 😉

    lovely stuff

  5. Alison
    Alison says:

    Well you learn something new every day! Thanks for the info. I doubt they would survive outside over the winter down here in Westmeath? When do you expect a crop?

  6. Peter Donegan MI Hort
    Peter Donegan MI Hort says:


    I’ve already taken one or two pods off but I’d reckon [at this temperature rate] assuming i plant outdoors now [!!!] within a few weeks – the pots are semi restricting them at the mo’… prob about mid october being really honest.

    that reminds me I need some bamboo canes 😉
    slán go foill

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