What to plant in September?

What to plant  in September?
Guide written by:
John, Passionate gardener, Cambridge

John, Passionate gardener, Cambridge

42 guides
September is a month that features plenty of harvests. This however cannot distract you from continuing to plant and sow over the following months and seasons, be it in an decorative garden or a vegetable patch. Any gardener will tell you that it is crucial to keep going, especially in this period that is often paired with more favorable weather. From cutting to transplanting: here are all our best tips.  

Important features

  • Propogation
  • Transplanting
  • Planting and seeds
  • Vegetable patch and decorative gardens

What to plant in your decorative garden

Now is the time to sow any biennial or perennial flowers that will bloom in the following spring and plant any bulbous species' bulbs. These can include cyclamen, fritillaries (buried at least 10 cm deep!), tuberous geraniums, lupine, larkspurs, bergenias, columbines, hyssops or serpentine plants...

Propogating your plants without breaking a sweat

September is also the ideal month to propogate some of your plants (rose bushes , geranium, ageratums, sweet alyssum, anthemis, carnations...).
You can also do the same for shrubs like phlomis, firethorn, barberry, evergreen cranberries and Japanese skimmia. To do so, take approximately 10 to 15 cm of some of the stems (last year's young stems that have started to go woody) and remove the leaves on the bottom 2/3rds of the branch, before transplanting them into a very loose soil.
The same is done with any perennials, be they daylillies, lillies of the valley or peonies. In regions that only experience mild winters, it's also safe to split up any anemones. To do so, dig up the bulbs, carefully separate the smaller bulbs from the center ones and replant them immediately. 
When it comes to planting crocuses in lawns, there is an ingenious approach that results in a harmonious and natural spread every time: it consists of throwing a handful of bulbs over your shoulder and burying them where they land!
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What to plant in the vegetable patch

September is the last month in which you can sow or plant many vegetables.
Even then, if you wait until now to plant  your spinach, it will have a harder time sprouting. This prolongs their life, which results in the last round of sowing being able to be harvested until April. The variety referred to as 'Winter Giant ' is very popular due to its increased resistance to cold.
Winter lettuce can either be started in a nursery or planted directly. This includes iceberg, romaine and other leafy varities. Keep in mind that the base of the plant's leaves should never be buried completely.
Some varieties of turnips can be planted in September, such as the 'Market Express', a small round and white turnip that is harvested only six weeks after sowing. 
This is the last month to sow any small radishes directly in the ground. Plant them in an open area so that they can enjoy the sun, since there is less of it in this season. After harvest, do not discard the tops: they are very tasty for soups!
Plant the last round of leeks as well.

It is the last call for rocket and lamb's lettuce too, which will normally be ready for harvest in early spring.
Sow any white-headed cabbage before September 15th. This variety of cabbage, whose leaves are smooth, are more hardy than their distant savoy cousin, which feature blistered leaves.
The seedlings will spend the winter in a sluggish semi-state of life and quickly begin to grow again in early spring. This is why it's important to choose the right variety for your specific environment (ask your neighbors for advice!).
In areas with mild winters, white onions should also be sown by September 15th.
At the beginning of the month, it's still possible to sow some of your aromatic herbs, like sage, oregano, chervil and coriander.
Do not forget strawberries! Anytime after September 15th is the ideal time to start your strawberry plants. If propogation is on your mind, it could not be more simple: take any young offshoots that have taken root on the runners and transplant them. It is imperative the the soil be very fertile for it to thrive. The best way to ensure that is to make sure that it was preceded by a legume (beans, peas) or on soil that has been embedded thoroughly with compost during the spring.

Routine maintenance

Remove any dry leaves and some of the foliage from tomato plants to allow the fruits to ripen better.
The need to water will decrease significantly but you won't hear many gardeners complaining! Depending on the weather, you can switch to watering in the morning or continue your nightly watering session.
Start blanching cardoons as required, depending on your personal needs.
Just like in August, it's important to be sure that there are no empty plots in your garden. Instead of leaving it empty, sow a green manure plant, be it mustard or a mixture of rye and winter vetch. These plants will eventually be crushed by the mower and left as a ground cover until the next crop.
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Orchard and berries

Bag the grapes to protect them from wasps and birds. While you're at it, you might as well remove any leaves that might block the sun from reaching the grapes. 
Collect any fallen fruit, included any that have infected by worms, or if you have the opportunity, let your hens out for a run in the orchard.
Trim the raspberry bush after it has completed its harvest.

Plant your strawberries 

Anytime after September 15th is the ideal time to start your strawberry plants
If propogation is on your mind, it could not be more simple: take any young offshoots that have taken root on the runners and transplant them.
If you want to multiply them, it's easy: take the rooted young plants that appear on the stolons and transplant them.It is imperative the the soil be very fertile for it to thrive. The best way to ensure that is to make sure that it was preceded by a legume (beans, peas) or on soil that has been embedded thoroughly with compost during the spring.
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The lawn

Mow the lawn once a week and if need be, wait until the rainy season starts  to sow a new lawn.

The garden and vegetable patch over the months

Gardening throughout the year while still respecting the lunar calendar and the environment is absolutely achievable. Depending on the month, we've compiled expert advice into a complete gardening guide to help you prepare your seedlings and plant flowers and vegetables in your garden, balcony or on deck.

And for an even more efficient garden, don't hesitate to check out our guides:
Guide written by:

John, Passionate gardener, Cambridge 42 guides écrits

John, Passionate gardener, Cambridge
When I was young, I was already working in the family garden. Perhaps that is where my interest in plants and gardening came from. So, it was logical for me to study both plant biology and agronomy.


At the request of various publishers I have, over twenty-five years, written many books on the subject of plants and mushrooms (a subject that is close to my heart).They were mostly identification guides at first, but shortly after they were about gardening, thus renewing the first passion of my childhood.


I have also regularly collaborated with several magazines specializing in the field of gardening or more generally in nature. There is no gardener without a garden, I have cultivated mine in a small corner of Cambridge for the last thirty years and this is where I put into practice the methods of cultivation that will I advise you in as well.

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