It’s the last few weeks of summer but there are still many things to do in the garden in September with lots of plants to sow for the winter and lots of great fruit, vegetables, and herbs to harvest and enjoy!
Here is a list of things to do in the garden in September:
- Sow/plant kale, perennial spinach, spinach, kale, cabbage, pak choi, mizuna, mibuna, mustard, rocket, chard, winter lettuce, radish, onions, garlic. Sow broad beans and peas towards the end of the September and into October.
- Harvest any potatoes you still have left in the ground, sweetcorn, French beans, runner beans, onions, garlic, courgettes, lettuce, radish, sorrel, chard, mustard, horseradish, spinach, rocket, beetroot, carrots, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, leeks, cabbage, cucumber, tomatoes, peppers, apples, pears, damsons, plums, blackberries, autumn fruiting raspberries, basil, dill, chives, parsley, chervil, oregano, tarragon, rosemary, thyme, sage.
- Feed your compost heap with all appropriate waste materials. Aim for an equal mix of nitrogen-rich green materials and carbon-rich brown materials. Turn every one or two weeks.
- Make sure you water your plants if they need it. Newly planted crops especially need to be well watered until they establish and all crops in pots will require more watering than those in the ground.
- Keep on top of your weeds (mulch, hoe, hand fork, strim, or sickle) before they have time to set seed.
- Net ponds before they get full of autumn falling leaves.
- Sow green manures on any empty patches of ground. Green manures (e.g. red clover, lupins, fenugreek, rye, buckwheat) are fast growing plants which are dug back into the soil about a month before you want to grow on it to return valuable nutrients and improve soil structure. While they are growing, their foliage helps reduce weeds and their roots reduce soil erosion.
- Pinch-out the top of tomato plants to direct more of the plant’s energy to the fruits. Remove any leaves growing below the lowest ripening fruit trusses to improve air circulation and prevent diseases. Leave 5 or 6 trusses of fruit per plant. Feed with a tomato fertiliser.
- Make liquid feeds to add nutrients to your plants and soil. You can use a variety of different materials to make feeds: compost, comfrey, seaweed, grass clippings, nettles.
- Take cuttings of herbs (e.g. thyme, oregano, rosemary, sage, mint) and grow in compost in a cold frame.
Collect seeds for next year.
- Takes cuttings of berries and currants.
- Pot on any rooted strawberry runners.
- Prune stone fruit trees, such as plums and cherries, if they need it.
- Cut back the canes of your summer raspberries which have fruited, leaving the new green canes for next year’s crop. Tie the new canes in to wires or supports so they are secure for the winter.
- After they have been harvested, cut pea and bean plants at ground level. If you leave the roots in the ground they will release valuable nitrogen back into the soil as they decompose.
- Remove and tidy up any plants that have finished cropping. Tidy up ground around plants that are still growing to prevent pests and diseases. Burn any diseased plant material.
- Remove any rotting apples, pears or plums from trees before they spread disease.
- Install water butts to collect autumn and winter rain.
- Order any fruit trees and berry/currant bushes you are planning to add to your garden or allotment ready for planting in the autumn.
- Order any rhubarb and asparagus crowns you are planning to add to your garden ready for planting next month.
Can you think of any other things to do in the garden in September? If anyone has any tips or suggestions, please comment below.