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Thursday 7 September 2017

The Vegetable Plot - September

“I had this image of lots of marrows, squash and pumpkins all wearing sombreros and lazing around in the September sunshine.” 

No matter the size of your garden it’s likely you can grow at least some vegetables and if you have a sizeable plot you can either have dedicated beds or mix flowers and vegetables in the same border. A visit over Bank Holiday to Hidcote Manor kitchen garden showed this to great effect. Never worry about growing too many vegetables.

You can freeze what you don’t need now so you can have peas, beans, cauliflowers, broccoli, sweet corn and Brussels sprouts waiting for the pot. By now you will be lifting maincrop beetroot to eat when you’re ready, as well as carrots and potatoes for storing in hessian or thick paper sacks in a dark, frost-proof place.

Vegetable seedlings such as spinach beet, winter spinach, endive and lettuces can be thinned and spring cabbage sown in July can be moved to a plot, ideally previously occupied by onions or potatoes, where they will mature. Pick the rest of the tomatoes and use green ones to make chutney.

There’s an old tale about putting green ones in a paper bag with bananas, an apple or ripe tomato in a warm place to ripen. Not something we’ve tried but if anyone is successful let us know.
Sow French beans for forcing in a greenhouse where you can also transfer your pots of parsley. Pick and store those apples and pears and stand your marrows, squash and pumpkins in the September sunshine to harden!

  • Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, kale leeks and parsnips will stand over winter
  • Carrots, onions, turnips and winter squash can be stored over winter
  • Sow late summer sowings of corn salad, land cress, mizuna, mustard and rocket
  • Watch out for slugs and snails and use organic pellets to kill them
  • Cover salads with cloches to protect against frosts
  • Keep plants well watered if there has been little rain.

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