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September Garden Checklist - Tidying-up the Garden in Preparation for Spring

Updated: Mar 6

Simple Checklist for jobs to do in the garden this month


In September, as the chilly grip of winter gives way to the warm embrace of spring, gardeners eagerly prepare to welcome a new growing season. As this is the start of the growing season for most plants it's important to do as much preparation as possible. Spring is a time of renewal, growth, and a burst of vibrant colours in our gardens.



In this article, we'll delve into each of these tasks and highlight their significance in setting the stage for a thriving garden.


Responsible Watering: Providing Adequate Moisture


Proper watering is the lifeblood of your garden, especially now when the temperatures are so dry. In spring, as temperatures rise and plants awaken from their winter slumber, they require consistent moisture to fuel their growth.


In many areas boreholes are already running dry as the water table moves even lower. At this point, we encourage use water in the garden responsibly, reduce consumption and only water essential plants. It's debatable whether a green lawn can be considered 'essential.'


Watering the lawn in winter is a huge consumer of water. Most lawns need the equivalent of 10-40 litres of water per meter squared (keeping in mind, that in can vary depending on type of soil, seed etc.). Water ordinary grasses deeply, at about 15-20cm depth. Over a 6 month dry season, the adds up to a lot of water just to make your garden look green. Food for thought tight?



Mulching: Nurturing the Soil


Mulching is one of the most crucial tasks on your spring gardening checklist, primarily because; adding a layer of mulch around your plants offers a multitude of benefits such as, it helps retain soil moisture by reducing evaporation, which is especially important during warmer months.


Secondly, mulch acts as an insulating barrier, protecting plant roots from temperature fluctuations. Organic mulches, such as compost, grass, or wood chips, wood ashes, gradually break down, enriching the soil with nutrients.



Weeding: Taming Unwanted Growth


Weeding might not be the most glamorous gardening task, but it's undeniably essential. Spring is the time when weeds try to establish their presence, competing for precious resources with your desired plants. Regular weeding not only improves the aesthetic appeal of your garden but also prevents weeds from stealing nutrients and water from your plants. Remember to pull weeds from the roots to ensure they don't return.


Right now our main focus is weeds on the driveway. These resilient seeds that grow in between the paving bricks or cement, if not managed correctly can cause major damage.



Pruning: Shaping for Success


Pruning is like giving your plants a fresh haircut—it promotes healthy growth, enhances shape, and encourages flowering. Spring is an ideal time to prune, as many plants are just beginning to show signs of growth.


Remove dead or diseased branches, shape shrubs for better aesthetics, and encourage air circulation by thinning crowded growth. However, be cautious not to over-prune, as some plants bloom on old wood and may lose their flowers if pruned too aggressively.


Planting: Growing Deeper Roots


As we know temperatures are just going to get hotter into October so planting now will give plants time to establish themselves before the challenge of the hot dry season.


Planting a tree sapling
Planting a tree sapling

If you have access to a steady water supply, it is a good idea to get trees started early in August or September when the weather starts to warm up but is not yet too hot. You do need to take a bit effort to keep them watered but this extra 3-4 months of growth in the ground before the rainy season will allow them to develop good taproots before the rainy season. During the rains they can then direct their resources to developing healthy above ground growth. If you wait to plant in December they will focus on growing above ground but as their roots will not have had time to develop properly, they might not have enough of a root system to support the plant and may struggle to generate enough food in the dry season.


A well-maintained garden requires attention and care, and the spring season sets the stage for a year of successful growth and blooming beauty.



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