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.

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

PInch out the tips of outdoor cordon tomato plants to concentrate the plant’s energy into ripening fruits, and not producing further growth.

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

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

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

Spread newly dug potatoes out to dry for a few hours before storing them in a cool, dark place. Store them in paper or hessian sacks, as this will allow the crop to breathe while it’s in storage. Only store undamaged, disease-free tubers. One rotten potato can ruin your whole crop.

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

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

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

Top Tip:

Pull or cut off 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 skins of the potatoes.

This Month's Key Tips
  • Plant spring flowering bulbs.
  • Pick autumn raspberries.
  • Plant tree 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.