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Topical Tips September 2019

Although autumn may be just around the corner it’s nice to keep the summer feel in the garden for a bit longer, read on with our tips for this month…

Flowers & Shrubs

Top Tip:   Keep dead heading if you kept your bedding plants going through the summer, also give the plants a feed with a liquid fertiliser, we recommend Tomorite for all flowering and fruiting plants just to keep them flourishing until they finally give up the ghost with the frosts which probably won’t be until October.

Top Tip:   If your bedding plants haven’t quite made it to September after your summer hols, don’t worry we have plenty of lovely bedding that will see you into the winter e.g. pansies, violas, heathers ,cyclamen and winter cherries. We also have some mini shrubs such as skimmias and gaultheria to give you pots and boxes some green framework 

Top Tip: Autumn is a good time to divide clumps of perennials such as hemerocallis. Lift the clump and then divide it into pieces, either by prising it apart with two forks or cutting it up with a spade or bread knife.

Each piece needs some leaves and roots. Older pieces from the centre of the clump should be thrown away, but newer pieces can be replanted or shared with friends. Some perennials, such as sedums, will benefit from being divided every few years to keep the clump growing vigorously.

Top Tip: Autumn  has always been the time to plant shrubs because the soil is still warm and this will encourage plants to produce a good root system and settle in over the winter ready for the spring growth next year. At Sunshine we get an amazing range of shrubs in ready to plant now.

Top Tip:   When planting shrubs (or any other plant!) try using some Rootgrow which contains fungal spores or seeds which create a secondary root system for plants.

Rootgrow is endorsed by the RHS:

"RHS Gardeners endorse Rootgrow because Rootgrow treated plants establish better with greater vigour, replant more successfully, have better developed root systems and cope better with drought conditions."

Not only does the RHS recommend it but also Monty Don uses it , he always says to use mycorrhizal fungi (because he can’t advertise Rootgrow) on Gardeners’ World.

Top Tip: Although September is a wetter month don’t forget to water especially the pots as they dry out quickly and rain often does not get to the soil under the leaf canopy.

Top Tip: Of course we would love you to but all your seeds from Sunshine but if you really want to harvest your own now is the time to do it:

It is best to harvest and store your own seeds in the middle of a sunny day, when moisture levels are at their lowest. Only harvest ripe seeds that look hard and brown. Store them in paper bags or envelopes; label these with the name of the plant and the harvest date, then snip the seed head off and place the whole thing into the envelope. When you are ready to sort, working envelope by envelope, tip the contents onto a tray and gently remove any chaff. Tip the seeds back into the envelope, seal and store in a dry container.

Top Tip:  Cut back the stems of perennials that are fading and dying down unless you like to keep the seed heads which can look stunning in the low sunlight at this time of year.


You wouldn’t believe how excited we get this month as the bulbs arrive, Fiona, our award winning bulb maestro ( best bulb display in the UK 2018!) has over 330 varieties of bulls to show you, don’t let her down come in and see our bulbs room – it’s better than ever!

Top Tip:   When choosing bulbs go for plump firm ones and plant they ASAP so that they can start putting root growths out.

Top Tip:    Autumn flowering bulbs are a real treat that should be more popular, just take a look below to see dome of the beautiful bulbs you can plant now to flower this Autumn.


Cyclamen hederifolium

Crocus conqueror

Special Offer: If you go down to the tills today you’re sure of a great deal as Graham & Valeries have extra large value packs of bulbs on sale at £4.99, normally £6.99 they change regularly so take a look when you’re next in.


Top Tip:   Aerate your lawn with a fork or lawn aerator.

Top Tip:   This is a good toe to sow a new lawn , click below for further details:


Top Tip:  Repair small bald patches with Patch Magic which is a unique 1 step lawn patching mix that is guaranteed to grow grass anywhere even those tough spots. Result are seen in 7-10 days.

Top Tip:    Raise the height of your blades as the growth slows down.

Top Tip:   If you want a new lawn or just to patch your lawn but don’t want to wait for seed to germinate we have supplies of turf coming in this month, please ring for availability.

Grow Your Own

Top Tip :  Harvest your fruit and veg now , don’t let it get over ripe, eat it, store it, preserve it or give it way, don’t waster it!

Top Tip: Pumpkins and squash should be raised off the ground to ripen in the sun before harvesting. If the weather is wet, cut them early and bring them in to ripen in a greenhouse or sunny windowsill. To cure the fruits for storage, keep them in a warm room for a fortnight, then put them somewhere dry and cool but frost-free.

Top Tip:  Harvest top fruit such as apples and pears. Look for fruit falling under the tree (windfalls) to indicate which apples are ready, but also assess taste and texture to determine whether they are ready for harvesting.

Top Tip: When asparagus foliage turns brown, it is time to cut it down. Take care of the spines and give the plants a good mulch afterwards.

Top Tip: Harvest maincrop potatoes when the top growth starts to die down and turn brown.

News: We now have stock of potatoes to plant now ready for Christmas!

Top Tip: Cut out old, fruited canes of summer raspberries, blackberries and hybrid berries after fruiting and tie in new ones.

Top Tip: Plant overwintering onion sets to provide an early crop next year and harvest this year’s when the top begin to flop over.

Top Tip:   If you are lucky enough to have a glut of fruit and veg try freezing, drying or pickling it’s good fun, avoids waste and make great presents for friends and family.

Top Tip: Clear stems and leaves from vegetable beds and sow final crops of lambs lettuce and oriental salads (the latter can also be sown as an edible green manure, instead of covering beds with compost if you are otherwise going to leave them fallow for a season).

Top Tip: Water tomatoes, beans and courgettes sparsely as their production period is coming to an end; continue to water autumn and winter vegetables regularly. Make sure you harvest fruit and vegetables regularly this month; leaving crops on the bough can lead to rot and disease setting in.