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September is a busy growing time in this part of France. Warm and often hot days can be interspersed with some rain allowing plants to recover from the drought usually experienced from May to the end of August, with just a few storms to keep things going. The gentler weather of September usually sees a sudden spurt in growth.
The jobs to be done are generally about the same as those in the UK.
For a continuous supply of flowers keep deadheading. Dahlias in particular benefit from constant deadheading.
My echinaceas, cosmos, guillardia, ornamental grasses, sunflowers, to name but a few are all now starting to produce seed. I collect mine into paper envelopes and keep cool until I am ready to sow.
Take cuttings from tender perennials such as fuschias, pelargoniums, fuchias to have a free display next spring. Cut off some none flowering sideshoots about 10cm long. Pull of lower leaves and cut just below a leaf joint. Dip the base in hormone rooting powder (optional but not essential, this can speed up the rooting process). Push into a compost specially bought for cuttings or add gritt to an all purpose compost. Water and cover with a plastic bag and leave in a bright spot. When roots have developed pot on seperately.
Take cuttings of clematis. These are one of the few plants where the cut should be made between two leaf joints rather than directly below a leaf joint. After follow the process described above.
Remove diseased leaves from roses tohelp prevent the disease reappearing next year.
Take cuttings of roses. These are extremely easy. Cut stems about the thickness of a pencil and about 20 cm long. Remove leaves. Place bottom half of the stem in the soil. Keep the area clear of weeds. I find about 80% or more take, so many that its almost worth doing the cutting in the place you want the rose plant. Just remember where it is and keep weeds and vigourous plants away.
In the Potager
Plant garlic and onions when sets become available in the shops.
Sow : hardy spring onions, salad crops, spinach, swiss chard, swede
Lift onions when their tops have died down.
Earth up celery to blanch it.
Cut back to the crown half of you ruby chard to produce small leaves for salad. Keep the other half for eating in the same way as spinach.
Harvest main crop potatoes
Cut off to soil level raspberry canes that have finished fruiting.
Plant out well rooted strawberries from runners produced by parent plants. I have decided to dig up my whole strawberry bed this year as it is riddled with weeds. I am going to remove everything and cover with the special black plastic thay you can buy specially for strawberries. This contains small holes to let in water but suppresses weeds.
Wrap grease bands around apple trees to protect from winter moths.
Pot up some herbs to take indoors over the winter
Keep bird baths topped up.
What to do in the garden next month