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A field of lavender.
Gardening in September in the North Island is a really exciting time. It's warming up, flowers are blooming, and bees are buzzing about, welcoming the new season. There's plenty to do in the garden. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Plant of the month: Lavenders

Lavenders are the flavour of this month. Loved for their fragrant flowers in lavender, pink, white or green, lavenders attract bees.  With silvery-green and fragrant foliage, lavender makes an ideal informal hedge, or plant in borders and perennial gardens. Originally from the Mediterranean lavenders thrive in well-drained soil and full sun. But they won't do well in areas with high humidity and, too much shade. Prune to remove spent flowers.

What else to plant

It's also a good time to plant hydrangeas, jasmine and fuchsias, with their stunning coloured flowers.

Hydrangeas are another hardy shrub with fabulous flowers. These plants do best in a  semi -shaded position, although there are some sun hardy varieties. Be sure to water regularly as when they dry out, they wilt. Alter the flower colour in most forms of hydrangea by changing the acidity or alkalinity of the soil. In acid soil (pH 5 or less) hydrangeas are most often blue. As the soil pH changes toward neutral and alkaline the colour changes to mauve, pink and even red. Buy a blueing tonic to change the colour of pink hydrangeas back to blue.

After flowering, prune hydrangeas to the green current season's growth. For best results prune to two leaf buds. 

Plant spring and summer crops such as tomatoes, cucumber, basil and capsicum. If you're in a cooler climate, plant seeds in a sheltered position to aid germination. Transplant into position once seedlings have grown a little.

Tomato, basil and capsicum seed packets.

Our perfect plant promise

Remember the Perfect Plant Promise. All our plants (except seedlings) are guaranteed for 12 months. If you're not 100 per cent happy, return your plant (with receipt or tax invoice) and we'll refund it.

Maintenance

This month it's a great time to fertilise the garden. Use blood and bone for good results and to give the plants a boost for when the soil warms up. For application instructions, read the packet.

Spring is also the perfect time to get into some lawn maintenance.  If you've got bare patches, sow lawn seed where it's needed. This gives the seed a chance to grow and become established while the weather is still warm and mild.

Mulch the garden too. Before laying the mulch, be sure to pull any weeds. Mulching not only helps protect the soil but also helps prevent weed growth. Organic mulches such as pea straw and lucerne are ideal. As they break down they help improve the soil.

A bag of fertiliser.

Harvest

September is a great time for harvesting. Pick tamarillos. Be sure they are ripe as unripened fruit are slightly toxic. Ripeness colour depends on the variety but ranges from yellow to red and purple. Citrus are ripe for the picking too. Harvest limes, lemons and mandarins. Avocados are ready to pick when the fruit starts to feel slightly soft.

Tamarillos, persimmons, avocados and more sitting on a table.

Start planting today

Check out the wide range of plants available at your local Bunnings and bring your garden to life.


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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.