4th September 2020
“This is the month when the vegetable and fruit harvest is extremely busy”
September 22nd is the official start of Autumn, but the month can be extremely warm and wonderful for vegetable gardening. Quite often the morning dews are becoming more pronounced which is good for lawns and plants, giving them some nourishing moisture.
Despite the fact that this is the month when the vegetable and fruit harvest is extremely busy, pests and diseases are still at large in the garden. Caterpillars emerging on brassica plants are fiendishly hungry.
Protect over wintering varieties such as Brussel Sprouts and Sprouting Broccoli from these marauding monsters. It is also an ideal time to stake these two plants to protect them against autumn and winter gales. Check leek plants for moth infestation – not that there is very much you can do about it.
Autumn raspberries seem to have been early this season but should still be fruiting. Keep their bases weed free to ensure they get all the available moisture.
Outdoor tomato plants will be fruiting well and need regular feeding but watch out for early frosts and, if forecast, protect with horticultural fleece. Another potential victim of the early frost are runner beans. Pick them regularly to encourage fruiting. Courgette and squash plants need plenty of sunshine to form and ripen and this may mean removing some leaves from the dense canopy they form – be warned, wear gloves when doing this work
In the greenhouse almost all GYO plants will be fruiting heavily. They need water and feed and be careful to ensure they are well supported and tied in firmly as the heavy fruits can snap off the stems bearing them.
Keep the greenhouse clean and tidy and doors and windows open but be prepared to close up at night towards the end of the month. Early in the month sow spring cabbage seed so they can be planted out before the onset of the frosts.
Remember that a cold frame can extend the growing season by several weeks and is ideal for hardening off the spring cabbage plants before setting them out in the garden. The Forest Garden Large Timber Cold Frame is a boon to any garden.
With all those vegetables to prepare, cook and enjoy, September is the perfect opportunity to invest in one of the Forest Garden compost bins Home composting is not only very enjoyable but also environmentally friendly and is the most cost-effective way to produce excellent soil conditioner.