Tips and ideas for your homegrown vegetable garden by the knowledgeable Theresa from Homegrown Market Garden…
Well there’s definitely a nip in the air now and with the need to close greenhouse doors comes a reminder that autumn is well and truly in the offing. Not to be dismayed though as the growing season is not yet ended – there are still things we can plant for quick crops over the next month or so, with cover later on as required. Quick growing oriental vegetables, winter lettuces and spinach all fare well with this cooler weather and help us to make use of space that becomes free as summer crops are finished.
There should still be plenty of harvesting to do too, tomatoes, courgettes, sweetcorn, beans, spring onions cauliflower, cabbages – the list goes on as the garden continues to give.
This is an ideal time for a bit of garden maintenance while we still have mild days in which to work. This could include giving the compost some attention, or getting any outstanding repairs and tidying done now in readiness for a happy thriving garden next year.
This month we could be planting:
- Spring cabbages
- Kohl rabi
- Winter lettuces
- Swiss Chard
- Chinese Cabbage
- Salad crops – rocket, land cress, corn salad and winter purslane
- Spring onions
- Oriental vegetables – such as mizuna and komastuma
- Radish – China Rose or Black Spanish are suitable for this time of year
Of course not all of these have to be sown from seed. Our website has a wide range of vegetable, fruit and herb plants that can be planted directly into your gardens this month. These are sustainably grown in Shropshire in recycled materials and delivered directly to your door.
Plants include growing guides showing you how to grow and harvest them – and if that’s not enough, we run a free veg gardening group offering additional support too! See our website for details. https://homegrownmarketgarden.co.uk/
Checklist of Jobs for September
With planting underway there are several additional jobs to be getting on with this month:
- Lift maincrop potatoes and leave to dry in the sun for a few hours to dry the skin. This makes them last longer when being stored.
- Perform a general tidy up of the garden in preparation for any structural work that needs to be completed during the autumn and winter months.
- Protect squashes and pumpkins that are laying on the ground by placing them on a tile. This prevents them from rotting. It may also be worthwhile removing some of the leaves around the fruit to gain maximum sun to help with ripening.
- Keep harvesting your vegetables to encourage production. In some cases, the more you pick the more you get!
- Remove as many leaves that you can from tomato plants to help maximise the amount of sun that the unripe fruit need.
- If not already done so, make a new strawberry bed for strawberry harvests next year.
- Prune blackcurrant and fruit bushes, removing all the woody growth that has produced the fruit this year.
- Plant spring cabbages, firming down as you plant.
- Protect delicate crops for colder weather such as lettuces with cloches or mini polythene tunnels.
- Although you may be overrun with beans now, continue to harvest them while they are still tender to prevent the plant from producing tough, stringy beans.
- After beans and peas have finally finished their production of crops, cut the plant down at root level, leaving the nitrogen rich roots in the soil.
- Keep an eye out now for blight. At the first sign on potato plant leaves, cut the haulms off and dispose of immediately. The potatoes underneath the earth will still be fine for a few more weeks if the haulms were cut off at the first sign of blight.
And let’s not forget composting, with advice from Garden Organic:
- Empty the compost bin by bagging up compost from the bottom of the bin/heap and store it ready for use next spring. Now you are ready to start a new mix.
- If you have a worm bin, bring it under cover to protect against frost.
- For local advice on compost making, visit Shropshire Masters Composters online at https://www.facebook.com/ShropMCs
I hope you find this useful. If you’re a keen home gardener or allotmenteer (or would like to be) why not consider joining our growing community Homegrown Gardening Group. It’s free and all are welcome.