What to do on the plot: September

It's been a dry August so keeping on top of the watering will help your plot from getting too dry and dusty. Now is also a good time to tidy up annuals and hardy perennials like Geraniums which may have finished flowering and started to fall over in untidy heaps.

This is the month to order bulbs and think about which ones you would like to add for next spring. There's such an array of shapes and sizes there will be something to suit no matter how much space you have. Bright yellow Aconites are a lovely way to brighten up winter or maybe some Chionodoxa luciliae Boiss – Glory in the Snow.

Splitting perennials can be done this month and it's also our Autumn plant sale on October 9th so any clumps that have become too big can be divided and found a new home! Spliting plants like this is not only a good way to propagate and create new plants but it also helps plants stay healthy and vigorous. There's advice on how to best to it here from the RHS. This technique is suitable for many of the plants which thrive at Culpeper such as Anemone, Aster, Bergenia (elephant’s ears).

You can take a variety of cuttings at this time of year – a lovely assortment of shrubs such as Berberis, Camellia, Ceanothus, Choisya, Cistus take very well from semi-ripe cuttings. Look for this year's growth, ideally non-flowering, which is starting to become woody at the base. Take cuttings that are about 10 – 15cm long and put about 6 – 8 cuttings in a pot – a clear plastic bag over the top will make a great DIY propagation unit! There's more advice here and ask the Garden Workers if you would like any help.

For fruit and vegetables – hopefully you have things to harvest! It's also now time to start thinking about next year's crops – planting onion sets and winter salad leaves which will grow on into autumn. You can also take cuttings to propagate fruit bushes.

Finally – for a nice simple present, now is the time to start off prepared hyacinth bulbs for Christmas, holidays and midwinter celebrations!

Martha Orbach