Jobs in your garden this September

Septembers are getting warmer.  It used to be that we would get an occasional ‘Indian summer’ at the start of the autumn, but it seems like we have one every year now.  For the last three years (since 2019), the Met Office has recorded higher than average temperatures for the month; the way this summer is going,  that looks set to continue in 2022. 

This means gardeners have a bit of a dilemma: should we think of September as autumn or should we treat it as we do those dusty days at the end of August?  Our maintenance team have certainly started treating September as a summer month. It is going to be too soon to worry about the first frosts yet, or to cut down plants that are still flowering away.  The reality is that, in this climate-changed world, we need to tune in to our plants and let them tell us how they want to be treated. 

Plant and sow


Keep your garden blooming well into the autumn by plugging any gaps with late-flowering perennials or plant up some pots for late season colour.  Plants like Sedum and Rudbeckia not only provide great colour but also nectar for pollinating insects and autumn-flowering Cyclamen, heathers, evergreens and Heucheras provide eye-catching interest.

You could also get ahead on next year by sowing hardy annual seeds in a cool spot.  If you are a vegetable gardener, you can sow some varieties of peas and broad beans now for early crops next year or be like Monty and plant hardy greens like kale and mizuna for winter salads.

To keep your kitchen stocked up over the winter, why not pot up some herbs, like parsley or chive, to sit on a sunny windowsill?

Trim and prune

As it’s unlikely that anything will be nesting now, consider trimming conifer hedges to neaten them up and control their height. As they won’t be doing very much more growing this year, they should stay in shape until the spring.

If you have vegetables still ripening – and that’s very likely with the extra heat – cut away some of the leaves on the plant to allow the sun in.  This applies to things like marrows, squash and pumpkins.  Previously, we would have suggested that tomatoes were unlikely to ripen now so to cut off the trusses and either sit on the windowsill to colour-up indoors or to make green tomato chutney with them.  However, I have had tomatoes ripen into October in recent years so, if the weather is good, consider leaving them on the plant to ripen.

Lawn maintenance

brown lawn

With the hosepipe ban in this area, many of us have lawns that look rather the worse for wear at present.  But don’t despair; they will often make a full recovery, especially if we just help them along.  Usually, September is a good time to rake thatch from your lawn, to aerate any compacted areas by spiking with a fork and for re-seeding any bare patches.  However, you’ll need to save that for a few weeks until the lawn is green again and the soil isn’t baked hard. 

For now, consider saving or recycling any water you can to throw on the lawn to help it recover.  If you want to mow, raise the height of your mower blades so it doesn’t stress the grass quite as much.  Don’t apply feeds or weedkillers while it is still brown; without any water to wash them in, they will either be far too concentrated or just blow away. 

The Royal Horticultural Society have updated their advice of caring for a lawn during a drought, which you can find here.

Harvest and store
harvest festival

September is usually the month of harvest festivals because many of our summer crops are ready to pick now.  Remember that pears don’t ripen on the tree; they need to be picked when the stems give and left somewhere sunny and dry until they are soft enough to eat.

If you’ve had a good crop of chillies, why not consider drying some for use over the winter or preserving them in olive oil.  To dry, thread the stalks onto a length of cotton and leave somewhere dark, dry and warm (your airing cupboard is ideal) to dry out.

If you’ve grown potatoes, lift your main crop on a dry day and leave them to dry off before storing them in paper or hessian sacks. Remember that they need to be stored in a dark place, preferably one with good ventilation to stop them turning green or rotting.  Stored carefully, they should be good for Christmas lunch!

And, if autumn does set in…

You can start to tackle the regular September jobs, like clearing out and cleaning your greenhouse and checking heaters are in good working order.  As the nights get cooler, you’ll want to think about closing greenhouse doors and vents overnight.

If you’ve had houseplants outside, time to bring them in now.  And, if you have a pond, think about putting a net over it to catch falling leaves before they fall in and rot.

For other September jobs (when it really starts to feel like September) why not have a look at the Garden Jobs we wrote about for September last year, here.

For other tips this month, try:
What to plant in September
Give your ornamental grasses some love this month
Now is a good time to give your lawn some attention with our Lawncare calendar
Think again about conifers




N. Haggard 20 September 2022

I just wanted to drop you a quick note to say how delighted I am with my new garden.

Jon, my designer, listened to my ideas and delivered on everything I asked for. I wanted something different to any garden I’d had before, no lawn, no landscaping but packed with plants. He designed such a lovely secret garden, around a statement tree. And I have to commend him for his unwavering patience! I changed my mind a hundred times but never did he give me the impression that he was losing patience with my endless indecision. And my confidence in him led me to place an order for over £10k.

My landscaping team, Blade and Tony, were exceptional, from their work ethic, skill and knowledge, to the way they dealt with me, the customer. My standards are very high and I couldn’t fault them.

All in all, a very professional team of people. And it showed that they all care. I’m over the moon with the finished result. I will send you a before and after photo. Thank you so much.

A delighted customer.

G. Gray. May 2022

My front garden has been transformed by Andy and Bradley who both worked incredibly hard and I am delighted with the result. Andy had the vision and skill to turn my idea into reality and I can't thank him enough.

C. Haig Sept 2021

We recently had our garden landscaped by Hambrooks and I just wanted to pass on my thanks, not just for the outcome - which is superb - but for the professionalism of all the staff involved on the job who are all a credit to you company. Mike, Dave, Les and Adam.

H. Sharp Sept 2021

I just wanted to let you know how delighted I am with my new garden. Melanie was a delight to work with and the ideas she had have worked perfectly. Also Sheldon laid the patio beautifully and him and Dave were a pleaseure to have at my house. Quiet workers and polite.

B. Rendell April 2021

I would like to say how delighted we are with the work carried out. Mel, Paul and Tony all worked very hard, they totally took on board the specific need relating to safety as well as the general garden issues. Paul and Tony were excellent at consulting and discussing with me what I felt best in terms of the brief and adjusting if and as necessary, constantly pleasant and polite to deal with. Mel had picked up on particular issues from the first consultation and offered valuable advice. The outcome means a great deal less worry for me going forward.
Altogether a very positive experience and outcome which I would not hesitate to recommend to others.

Stephen March 2021

Dom and Adam's work (garden maintenance) is greatly appreciated. Dom really listened to everything we discussed very carefully and went out of his way to understand and then act upon that discussion. We are extremely pleased with the work done - both to the pond and pyracantha.


We have been coming to Hambrooks for years and it's our favourite garden centre because of its friendly helpful staff and a great selection of plants and trees and the garden design ideas.

“We wanted to write and say how pleased we are with our low maintenance garden makeover. We are very impressed with the attitude of your staff who were prepared to listen to our requirements. Your team John and Rick brushed up and left everything tidy at the end of the day. We now have a garden we can manage and it looks great. THANK YOU HAMBROOKS.”

Mr & Mrs Venables, Southampton. April 2019

“Dear Josh & Mike We just want to say you both did a brilliant job of designing our garden along with the guys who did the work who were amazing. A few weeks on its looks even better now some of the plants are blooming. Thank you!!”

Mr & Mrs Gazzard, Winchester July 2019

“To James, John & Rikki. Thank you so much, we are delighted with our new garden. We really appreciate the attention to detail, the high quality workmanship and the standard of the finished project. We are amazed at how John & Rikki resolved the difficulties of the site and by the quality of their craftmanship. It was a pleasure to work with them and thank you for making our ideas into something we will enjoy for years to come.”