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September Jobs in the Garden

Posted September 05, 2018

After a long hot summer we are all ready for September!  Many summer crops have exhausted themselves and are ready to be pulled out with new fresh cool season crops waiting to take their place!  We gardeners are beginning to be refreshed as well from the garden burnout and are ready to begin yet another gardening season of change.

Here are a few jobs to do in the garden for September to help you keep on track.

  • Plant Chinese cabbage out in the garden and keep it well watered.  It grows quickly and should develop tasty, crispy heads for harvesting in early October.
  • Plant spring cabbages out into prepared ground and give the roots a good watering to help them establish.
  • It’s time to set Brussels sprout starts in well amended soil for late winter harvest.  Frost blanket may be needed for colder climates.
  • Once you have picked the last of the sweet corn, the old plants can be removed, chopped up or passed through a shredder, before adding to the compost heap.  
  • As the tops of main crop potatoes naturally start to die down, cut down the stalks to soil level and get rid of them.  The potatoes can then be left in the soil for a few more weeks until you are ready to lift.
  • Old fruited stems on black currants can be pruned out to open up the bush and allow the new growth to harden.
  • Plant strawberries.  Although the fruiting season it over, September is an important time to plant new plants that have been raised from runners.  The young plants will be able to make a good root system over the autumn while the soil is warm producing plenty of fruit in the spring.
  • Help squashes and pumpkins to ripen by lifting them off the ground slightly on a stone or up -turned seed tray.  This increases air flow around the fruits and keeps the base dry. 
  • Fruit trees such as apples and pears are pruned through the summer when train as step-overs or espalier, to maintain the formal shape and to create short side shoots known as spurs that flower and fruits develop the following year.  Pruning is normally done in late summer, but if you’ve not done it yet, there is still time.  Cut back this year’s new growth to around 1 1/2”, just above a bud. 
  • By the autumn, sunflowers are starting to look unsightly, however, wait a bit before cutting them off.  Birds can enjoy the seeds, which pipes only once the plant dries out.  
  • Many crops that you would plant in the spring can now be set into garden beds for continued fall harvest.  Lettuce, spinach, green onions, mustard greens, chard, kale, arugula, mesclun and other greens. 
  • Autumn is an ideal time to divide older rhubarb and many other perennials. 
  • Collect fallen fruit every day to avoid disease or pest spreading. 

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