September heralds the arrival of spring! There are so many exciting tasks for gardeners in all areas of the garden - especially in the vege garden - so be organised with your seed sowing.
What to plant
- Use a mini greenhouse or bright partially shaded and sheltered spot to germinate seeds. Sow basil, peppers (capsicum), chillies, eggplant, melons, cucurbits (pumpkin, squash and zucchini) and tomatoes. Protect young seedlings from cold nights and frost, and gradually expose them to the elements as they mature. Increase the temperatures around young seedlings with a cloche. Alternatively, a cheap method is to cut plastic drink bottles in half and place the top over the seedlings without the lid. Seedlings will then be protected from slugs, snails and birds.
- Sow directly into the garden, sweetcorn, beetroot, carrots, chives, coriander, dill, celery and celeriac, kale, leeks, lettuce, pak choi, parsley, parsnip, peas, radish and rocket, silverbeet, spinach, spring onion, swede and turnips.
- In frosty places, citrus trees and other frost-sensitive plants are best planted in spring. Choose a well-drained site in full sun.
- Plant out any new strawberry plants and fertilise them.
- Chit (sprout) early potatoes and plant them ready for a Christmas harvest. To chit potatoes, place them in a tray with the eyes (growing shoots) pointing upwards, in full light. They will be ready to plant once the shoots have grown about 1cm.
- Kumara shoots will be available to buy in garden centres around October, or you can propagate them yourself.
- Use a mini greenhouse or bright partially shaded and sheltered spot to germinate seeds of cosmos, lobelia, marigold, petunia, salvia, and zinnia. It is easier to start these off in pots and then plant out once they are bigger.
- Sow wildflower seed for colour and to attract beneficial insects.
- Plant dahlia tubers and tuberous begonia tubers. We recommend the nonstop series of begonias and Hammett dahlias.
- Remember to protect seedlings from slugs and snails, birds, and in some areas rabbits!
What to harvest
- Harvest cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, herbs, beetroot, silverbeet, Florence fennel, broad beans etc.
- Citrus trees may still be carrying fruit.
- Pick spring bulbs and other flowers for the vase.
Shrubs and perennials
- Trim frost-damaged growth from plants once the chance of frost has diminished.
- Stake perennials that will grow tall during summer.
- Check stakes and ties around trees to ensure they don’t start to rub or grow into the trunk.
- Lawns can be sown in early spring although we recommend autumn sowing. Water frequently to help with germination and continue irrigating until the lawn is established.