Things to do in the Kitchen Garden in September

What to do in the kitchen garden in September?

When I first started to grow vegetables I really needed this information to be in one place, so I could look it up easily. However, I found I had to search for lots of little bits of information, scattered between internet sites and books.  It used to take me a long time to find the information I needed.

I thought it would be useful to have this information altogether in one place.  So for the benefit of the UK gardeners, I will write a list of things to be done each month and any useful information I can think of.

It is worth remembering that different parts of the UK have different weather conditions e.g. the last frost is expected earlier in the south than the north.  Therefore, this is a general guide.

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September:

This year (2012) has been a particularly wet year and some crops are approximately one month behind.  However, I will write this as though this is a normal year, so it can be referred back to in years to come.

Vegetables and salads to harvest:

Aubergines, swiss chard, globe artichokes, swedes, french beans, runner beans, sweetcorn, onions, cabbages (both red and white), cauliflowers, chillies, peppers, beetroot, summer and winter squashes, potatoes, florence fennel, kohl rabi, spinach, marrows, turnips, tomatoes, celery, chicory, lettuces, cucumbers, radish, spring onions.

Fruit to harvest:

Apples, pears, perpetual strawberries, grapes, pears, blackberries, autumn raspberries, figs, plums, damsons, gages, cape gooseberries.

Vegetables and salads to sow:

Oriental leaves, Perpetual spinach, Winter lettuces, radishes, rocket, winter hardy spring onions, corn salad, mizuna (you may need to give these crops protection over winter)

Things to plant:

Spring cabbages, onion sets, strawberries

Jobs to do:

  • September is a good month to start clearing away old foliage from plants that have finished cropping.  The foliage can be put on the compost heap.
  • You can sow green manures this month.  Phacelia, annual ryegrass and field beans will overwinter well.
  • Earth up your brussel sprouts or stake them ready for any winter winds.
  • Lift any remaining onions and dry them ready for storing.
  • Turn your compost heap regularly to help it to decompose quickly.
  • If you have managed to avoid tomato blight, cut off all the lower leaves now.  At the end of the month pick all the remaining green tomatoes and ripen them on your windowsill.
  • Cut down your asparagus to 1 inch above the ground when the foliage starts to go yellow.
  • Keep feeding celeriac and remove any old, damaged leaves from around the stems.
  • Remove a few leaves from your squashes so the sun can ripen the fruits.
  • Keep watering crops if the weather is dry.
  • Keep harvesting apples and pears.
  • Check if your sweetcorn is ready to harvest: if the tassels have turned black or brown, peel back the outer leaves and push your nail into the sweetcorn.  If the juice is milky then it is ready to eat, if the juice is clear then leave a bit longer.
  • Prune Blackberries as soon as they have finished fruiting.
  • Continue lifting main crop potatoes.

    Phacelia – a green manure

Septembers pests and diseases:

  • Keep checking potatoes and tomatoes for blight
  • Carrot flies are still laying eggs this month so keep your plants protected with fleece or environmesh.
  • Powdery mildews may affect plants this month.  Keep plants from becoming dry.
  • Continue to protect crops from cabbage white butterflies.
  • Leek moth caterpillars feed on the leaves of leeks and burrow into the stems.
  • Slugs and snails are still a problem.
  • Check for brown rot on apples, pears, quinces and plums.  Remove infected fruit.
  • Remove apples and pears that are affected by scab.
  • Do not prune cherries or plums now as this may allow the silver leaf fungus to enter the trees.
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I hope the above information will be helpful.

Thank you for reading my blog today.

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2 thoughts on “Things to do in the Kitchen Garden in September

  1. I have limited growing space so I tried growing cauliflowers from plants in containers. I have them plenty of space, 2 to a pot. I had 8 to start. What with a lot of heavy rain and the fact that I chose to transfer some into other pots, in the end only 2 survived which were not great, very small and I couldn’t eat them So a big waste of time, money and effort. I would like to have another go. What are your best tips for growing cauliflower ??? thanks

    • Hi Helena, lovely to hear from you. I must be honest, I have never grown cauliflowers in pots before, but other people do. I would make sure your pot is as deep as possible as they are large plants and make sure you keep the pot moist at all times as cauliflowers are very sensitive to drying out. I would also feed it well. Cauliflowers need firm soil which is hard to achieve in a pot, I would therefore choose an ‘F1’ variety of seed which will be less likely to ‘blow’ (which means the curds separate). There is some good information here: http://homeguides.sfgate.com/grow-cauliflower-containers-21922.html
      Let me know how you get on.

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