Jobs Ė September
we have most certainly had a great summer this year with lots of sun
and little rain. Although the extremes have seen scorched grass and
parched ground, shrubs and established plants have done well in both
growth and blooms.
definitely has an autumnal feel about it but we still have sunny
days. Grass in the morning is heavy with dew, and many of the plants
in the vegetable plot look past their best.
Vegetable Patch in September
tassels on the sweetcorn are dark brown check for ripeness by
piercing a kernel with your thumb. If the liquid is milky, the cobs
are ready. Boil the water first then pick the cobs. Be as quick as
you can as the sugar in the sweetcorn is converted into starch as
soon as the cobs are picked.
a sunny day to lift the tubers, donít risk leaving them in the
ground otherwise youíll get slug damage. Leave them on the soil for
a few hours to dry and store the good ones only in hessian or paper
sacks in a dark cool place.
peppers, capsicum, aubergine, borlotti beans, pumpkins, squash,
marrows, swede, turnip, and late summer brassicas will all be ready
for harvest. Pick them when they are fully ripened and at their best.
the green stems have browned and toppled over, your onions are ready
for harvest. Spread the bulbs out in the sun to dry, then store in a
net bag in a cool dry shred or garage.
harvesting other crops
courgette, tomatoes, cucumbers, beetroot, lettuce, peas, mangetout,
carrots, spinach, swiss chard still need picking. Beans quickly
become stringy and courgette can get rather watery, so pick
everything whilst it is still young and tender.
growth may have slowed but you still need to keep on top of them.
Itís very easy as this time of the year to let things run away, but
donít turn your back on the weeds otherwise theyíll sow their
seeds all over your patch ready for next year!
bean seed for saving or storing
the pods have become dry and brittle and start to split open, the
beans are ready for storing. Harvest them on a sunny day and leave to
dry thoroughly before storing in paper bags or an airtight container.
out for signs of blight on potatoes and tomatoes
often strikes around now, when the specific weather conditions are
met. Outdoor tomatoes can be turned from healthy green plants to
brown decaying ones in just 2 or 3 days. Harvest all your tomatoes,
ripened or not, as soon as symptoms appear. Dispose of the plants
(preferably by burning). Donít put them on your compost! Remove
potato foliage as soon as symptoms appear.
the potatoes in the ground for another two weeks to allow the skins
to harden and then harvest. Hopefully, they wonít be affected.
brassicas for butterfly eggs and caterpillars
can quickly decimate your brassica crop. Check regularly for eggs and
caterpillars and remove any that you find.
all plants that have finished cropping
plants have finished cropping dig them up and add them to your
compost. Donít leave them lying around your patch as they can
harbour disease and pests. Itís always best to tidy up as you go.
Fruit Garden in September
autumn fruiting raspberries
the end of summer, the autumn fruiting raspberries will be ready.
Pick on warm days when they have reached full colour. Pick regularly
every couple of days.
summer fruiting raspberry canes
summer fruiting raspberry canes that have fruited to ground level.
The stems of these canes will be brown whereas new growth will be
is the time to plant new strawberry runners for cropping next year.
Choose varieties that fruit at different times of the year (early,
mid and late season), so that you get strawberries all summer long.
early apple varieties
apples are best eaten fresh. Gently twist them off the tree and
crunch into the lovely firm juicy flesh.
pears, plums, and damsons
will be ready for picking. Pick pears whilst they are still hard and
leave to ripen in a cool, dark, dry place (a garage is ideal). If you
have a glut of plums and damsons, process and freeze for winter use,
or make jam. Damson jam in particular is delicious.
grapes and melons
the odd grape now and again to check for ripeness. Once sweet enough,
harvest the whole bunch. Melons are ready when they start to give off
a lovely rich scent.
Gardening Jobs in September
are full of delicious blackberries at this time of year. They are
great in cakes, crumbles, jams, home-made blackberry juice and
ice-cream. Donít miss this free bounty!
canes and plant supports
canes away as you finish with them. They are best stored in a shed,
garage or greenhouse where they will stay dry. They wonít last many
seasons if you leave them out during the winter.
daffodils and crocus for next year
a lovely splash of colour to your garden next spring by planting
daffodil and crocus bulbs. Plant directly into the soil or in pots.
hyacinth bulbs ready for Christmas
have a wonderful fragrance. Plant in pretty pots, store in the dark
until their shoots are 5cm long then bring into the light. Plant them
towards the end of the month so that they will be ready for
your grass on dry days when you can. It wonít be long before itís
too wet and you donít want long grass throughout the winter.
Michael Gourlay Chairman