Perennial flowers will be putting on a final show before the onset of autumn. Cone flowers (Rudbeckia), Heleniums, Dahlias, Red Hot Pokers and Stonecrop will be flowering now and so too will Chrysanthemums, Japanese Anemones and Phlox. If you pick off the faded flower heads of these perennials and from remaining bedding plants, then you can encourage a long-lasting display.
Roses may well be showing signs of powdery mildew or rose blackspot on mature leaves. At this time of the year it is a good idea to pick off all the leaves that are showing disease and disposing of these in the dustbin rather than on the compost heap. Before the end of September spray with Roseclear Ultra to control pests at the same time and remember to start spraying your roses next year with a fungicide as soon as the fresh leaves unfurl and repeat regularly.
Maincrop potatoes should be ready to harvest when the top growth, called the haulm, has turned brown. Cut off the dead stem and then leave for 10 days before starting to dig the tubers. When they are all on the surface, leave for a couple of hours or so for the skins to set and then sort according to their storage potential. Perfect tubers can be stored in hessian sacks, paper bags or dry cardboard boxes for storage in a well-ventilated frost-free shed. Any potatoes that show damage, blemish or slug hole should be used in the kitchen as soon as possible
As we go towards September it is an ideal time to kill off weeds in and around the garden, especially the deep-rooted kinds that can’t be dug out easily or grow so big that it would take too much effort to make it worthwhile. For deep-rooted weeds such as docks, stinging nettles, bindweed, thistles, brambles, couch grass and perennial ryegrass, all you need is a pressure sprayer and a bottle of Weedol Rootkill Plus. Simply dilute the liquid concentrate in water and thoroughly spray all the foliage of the weeds, taking care not to allow any spray drift onto cultivated plants and wanted vegetation.
When the foliage of onions and shallots have wilted and dried up it’s time to harvest your crop. Find a dry day when they can be lifted with a fork and allowed to dry naturally on the soil surface. If the weather is wet, place into an open tray and store inside a shed or greenhouse. After a week or so your onions will be dry enough to make into strings for long storage in the same shed or in the kitchen.