Welcome to our vegetable garden calendar September job list, part of our month to month guide to vegetable gardening. Here is your gardening list for the month of September.
Although September marks the end of the summer it is not unusual for us to have a warmer and drier month than August, although by the end of the month temperatures will definitely start to fall.
As far as sowing goes there is very little that needs to be started this month, possible some winter hardy lettuces and spring onions as well as some true spinach is about all, and planting out some spring cabbages will for most vegetable gardeners finish the list. But we do like to grow overwintering onions.
If you plant sets towards the end of the month they should just about get going, and this head start will give you a very early crop of onions, just as your stored onions are coming to an end.
Of course, not many gardening jobs lists fail to mention weeding as the weather will still be fuelling their growth, as it will still keep the continual onslaught of pests coming, so vigilance is still needed when checking for tiny critters. Many years French beans will be attacked by blackfly or aphids, although they are quite easy to deal with.
It is also worth keeping a look out for any fungal problems, particularly if it is damp.
One area of the garden that the vegetable garden calendar September list that will start to be over worked will be the compost bins.
Not only will you be adding the unusable parts of the harvest, crops such as peas and other early spring crops will be ending and they will provide quite a bit of foliage to your bins.
Don’t forget that peas and beans are soil feeders, so when they have finished cut the plant down leaving the roots to rot in the ground, releasing its nitrates to the soil.
On the subject of composting, any large woody stalks such as cabbage or calabrese stalks, or sweetcorn stems will not rot down quickly, so will need to be broken down. This is an ideal job for a garden shredder, failing that, use a hammer to break them up.
Vegetable Garden Calendar September Jobs List Top Tip
If you really want to get a head start on next season, once you have cleared a patch of your vegetable garden, why not cover it and mulch it with some manure or compost.
Use old cardboard boxes to cover the ground and layer them with well-rotted manure. The cardboard will stop any weeds from growing and add nutrients as it breaks down over the winter, then in spring, a quick run over with the rotavator and you are ready to go.
There will of course be plenty to pick this month as the fruits of your labour are truly rewarded, this really is harvest festival time.
Some vegetables will continue a steady supply, as you pick what is ready from vegetable plants such as French beans, runner beans, spinach beets, courgettes, cucumbers, tomatoes, marrows and lettuces, quite often you may get a glut of many of these crops which will create more work in the kitchen, either as you need to store your crops for the winter, or you may use excess crops to create preserves and chutneys.
Some other crops will come up at once, so you will need to arrange a system to store these vegetables.
Main crop carrots will need to be harvested, and perfect specimens should be stored without their foliage in a box of damp sand. Any damaged carrots can be cut into batons and frozen.
Onions will need to be picked too, and an airy rack should set up to dry them. We have a slatted shed to dry vegetables, but you could also use drying tables outside, as long as they had some protection from rain. Some people use a greenhouse or poly-tunnel, but if we have a warm September you will end up with cooked onion, and they will rot away quickly.
Some early planted leeks could also be ready, but pick from alternate rows to give what is left plenty of room to grow.
Another vegetable garden calendar September job would be raising the pumpkins. These fruits should be starting to swell, and if the ground is damp they are susceptible to slug damage and rotting, so it is well worth placing a mushroom basket or plastic pot under them, or a pallet if you have a real whopper! Towards the end of the month the foliage of the pumpkin plant will start to die back giving the pumpkins more light to harden and change colour.
There is very little in the September cell pack sowing list as there will usually be plenty of room for direct sowing.
Perhaps a tray of lettuce would benefit from being sown in the greenhouse so that they can be planted out when the greenhouse vegetables have finished. You will also need to plant out module sown spring cabbages.
Whatever you sow at this time of year make sure that you can see the words winter hardy somewhere on the seed packet. In September sow winter lettuce, true spinach, spring onions and over wintering onion sets.
During September you could be picking radish, summer squash, tomatoes, sweetcorn, cauliflower, carrots, broad beans, French beans, runner beans, cabbage, celery, calabrese, spinach, tomatoes, turnips, last of the peas, spring onions, onions, salad, kale, courgettes, marrow, chilli, aubergines, bell pepper, beet leaf, beetroot, last of the mange touts, kohlrabi, globe artichokes, cucumbers, celery, leeks, plums and apples.