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Wednesday 1 September 2021

The Vegetable Plot - September

Lift and store

All manner of squashes, marrow, pumpkins need proper seasoning before storing them indoors. They should be cut when they are full size and good in colour when they can be laid out in the sunshine for a couple of weeks to harden. 

You can then store them indoors in a frost-free place. If you planted maincrop onions and they are starting to turn yellow at the tips, you can prepare them for lifting by digging a fork under the bulbs, lifting them slightly without breaking the roots. This will loosen them enough for ripening and harvesting later. 

Your next onion crop can go in now to mature for late June or July next year. Spring cabbage sown in Mid-July can be planted out now, ideally in a bed where you have lifted maincrop onions or potatoes for storing. Bag lifted potatoes in paper bags or hessian sacks, never in plastic bags, and store in a dark frost-proof place. 

There is an old superstition that, having grown a crop of parsley, it was considered unlucky to give it away because you would transfer your good luck with it. So, if you have a glut of parsley and want to give some to a neighbour, relative or friend, you'll just have to get them to steal it from you!

  • Ripen green tomatoes on the windowsill or in a paper bag with a banana
  • Sow French beans in a heated greenhouse
  • Thin out vegetable seedlings, winter spinach, lettuce, endive, spinach beet  
  • Plant rooted strawberry runners where they are to fruit
  • Freeze peas, beans, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and sweet corn
  • Lift and store onions in boxes in a cool, dry, frost-free place or plait with raffia and hang in the shed or garage  

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