Guide written by:
Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter
September is a month of transitions. The kids are back at school, the temperatures are dropping and the heating is going back on. There may still be a few bits to pick in the vegetable garden but it's probably best to start organising the workshop for the cold days ahead. Here are our tips on keeping busy this month.
Get ready for a radishing harvest
September is all about harvesting and you'll be glad to hear that it's also time to cut back on watering. This month is your last chance to sow things like radishes and leeks, but it's a great time to sow spring-flowering biennial and perennial flowers and plant things like hardy geraniums, delphiniums, aquilegia and bergenia. Once mid-September has passed, you can get your strawberry plants in the ground. You might also want to use this time to taking cuttings from roses, geraniums, alyssums or impatiens and divide perennials like daylilies or peonies. Got a few empty spots? You might want to think about sowing some green manure crops. Finally, it's time to tackle pests and get those hedges neatened up.
Chill out – but stay warm
With little chance of an Indian summer this year, it's time to take stock of how to make the most of our outdoor spaces over the coming months. One thing is for sure: evenings outdoors just got a little chillier. It's that time of year when you'll need to grab a cardigan or blanket before hitting the deck – or better still, invest in a patio heater. Your plants might also need a helping hand at this time of year and a heated greenhouse can be just the ticket. Decided to escape the chilly weather for a bit? Don't forget to take care of your plants while you're gone!
- Patio heater buying guide
- Outdoor heating buying guide
- Fire pit buying guide
- How to heat a greenhouse
- How to water plants while you're away
Don't get too cool in the pool
Let's face it, summer 2021 was a bit of a disappointment and anyone lucky enough to have a swimming pool might be feeling the chill a little earlier than usual. Luckily there are plenty of ways to keep the good times going in the pool from solar heaters to pool covers. Want to splash your way into the autumn? Now is the time to act!
- Pool cover buying guide
- Pool cover roller buying guide
- Solar pool heater buying guide
- How to cover your pool
- How to heat your pool
Heaters gonna heat
There's no way around it – after a wet and chilly summer, the worst of the cold weather is on its way. While around 1.5 million homes use wood for fuel across the UK, the vast majority rely on gas and electricity to heat their homes. Central heating is the most common form of heating nationwide and almost all homes have a gas boiler. But there are other options and you may find yourself in need of a boost, particularly in spaces such as attics or bathrooms. And it can never hurt to have a back-up system in place if your heating system breaks down!
If the past year has taught us anything, it's that there's no denying the benefits of an organised and comfortable workspace. Kids in the UK spend an average of five hours a week doing homework and the best way to help them to be more productive is to provide them with a dedicated study space. If there's enough room in their bedroom, you can always set up a curtain or room divider to separate the space into zones for studying and relaxing. Of course, any work station needs a good desk and a comfortable chair to protect those growing bones!
Don't hesitate – insulate!
There's no point in investing in a more efficient heating system if your home is not properly insulated. Most of the heat in our homes escapes through the roof which accounts for 30% of overall heat loss. The walls are close behind at 20 to 25% while windows can make up 15% of lost heat. So it goes without saying that any upgrades to your heating system need to start with a close look at your insulation!
Level up your heating system
Once you've made sure that your insulation is up to scratch, it's time to make the most of your heating system. There are plenty of ways to check that your system is running as efficiently as possible from bleeding your radiators to adjusting the temperature to match each room.
Tidy, organise... you know the drill
Winter is the time of year when most of us batten down the hatches and get cracking in the workshop, so September is really the best month to make sure that everything in the workshop is in ship shape! Some of the most important elements in a workshop include the workbench and vice, but it's also worth think about things like lighting and storage. In terms of power, you can't do any better than an air compressor and a variety of models are available to match your needs. Sanders, angle grinders, impact wrenches... the world is your oyster when it comes to air tools!
Don't make a dog's dinner of your dog's food
Like all of us, dogs are what they eat. Gone are the days when we picked up any old food from the supermarket and filled up the dog bowl. Nowadays most of us know exactly what our pooches need to stay happy, healthy and junk food-free! With the cold weather drawing in, your pup might be less inclined to spend time outdoors so make sure they have a cosy space to curl up in. On the move? Make sure you've got the right type of travel crate to protect your four-legged friend
Guide written by:
Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter, 220 guides
Redo a roof with wooden beams? Check.Advise Mister everybody in the DIY shop? Check.Redo the bathroom plumbing? Check.Fit together, build the walls, paint a partition, throw my hammer in a rage thinking that it will fix the problem? Check. The DIY motto ? Learning is better than delegating… well, it's also a question about your wallet! The satisfaction? The beer at the end of the job! What do the best have in common? The influence of Gyro Gearloose, Mac Gyver and Carol Smiley depending on your generation, a good dose of curiosity, a average hand-eye coordination and a taste for risks… and if it doesn't work, try again! Advise you? I'll do my best!