The nights are drawing in, the leaves are starting to fall and there are large conkers in the horse-chestnut trees on Horfield Common: Autumn has nearly arrived.
To help you make the most of the lovely month of September is my friend, Sarah Clapham, local gardener and fellow parent.
As with every month of 2017, here Sarah shares her gardening and nature tips for the month, as well as what to look out for when you are out and about with your children.
In the Garden…
Keep deadheading to get the most out of your summer plants.
Support tall plants.
Clip box hedging and topiary.
Plant spring bulbs. There are so many varieties of daffodil, white ones make a nice change and look really fresh in a spring border.
Collect seed from perennials, it’ll save you money and you’ll know exactly what you’re getting.
The Veg Patch…
Last chance to sow spinach and hardy oriental leaves.
Move spring cabbages to their final growing place if you’ve raised them in pots.
Plant over-wintering onion sets.
Thinking ahead plant new strawberry plants.
Water if the weather remains dry.
Pick ripe tomatoes.
Sow green manures such as mustard and Phacelia to over-winter. Green manures add nutrition to the soil when dug in.
Harvest early apples and pears.
Continue to pick beans and courgettes to keep the plant producing as long as possible.
Things to look out for when out and about with your children…
Sloes and Hawthorn start to appear in the hedgerows. Sloes are best picked after the first frost.
Some trees will start to show their autumn colours this month, the beginning of a very colourful display.
You may start to see the odd conker or acorn on the ground this month.
You will notice fewer butterflies, bees and insects as the temperature cools off.
Snails and slugs decline in number, great if you’re growing veg!