In The Vegetable Garden This September

Keep harvesting crops. If you have a glut of fruit and veg try freezing, drying, pickling, and storing so that you can benefit from them later on.

Pull or cut off the the foliage of maincrop potatoes at ground level three weeks before lifting them. This will prevent blight spores infecting the tubers as you lift them, and help to firm the skins of the potatoes.

Help pumpkins ripen in time for Halloween by removing any leaves shading the fruits.

Raise pumpkins and squashes off the ground to prevent rotting. Place them on a piece of slate or wood.

Cut bean and pea plants away at ground level when they have finished cropping. Leave the roots, as this will slowly release nitrogen back into the soil as they break down.

Pot up some mint and parsley for the kitchen windowsill for fresh herbs through the winter.

Cover your brassicas with netting to prevent birds making a meal out of them.

Keep feeding and watering french and runner beans to keep them producing. Continue harvesting little and often to prevent them setting seed.

Top Tip:

Harvest sweetcorn. To test if it’s ready, pinch a kernel, it will release a milky sap when ripe. If the kernels are starchy, you’ve left it too late. If they’re watery they need a little longer to ripen.

This Month's Key Tips
  • Plant spring flowering bulbs.
  • Pick autumn raspberries.
  • Plant trees and shrubs in autumn - will give them the best start to let the roots settle in before new spring growth.
  • Keep up with watering of new plants.
  • Net ponds before leaf fall gets underway.