September brings a change of season. The days are getting shorter, the temperatures are dropping and the air smells of apples and wet grass.
There is still time in early September to get your last sowings of spring greens in the ground. Keep sowing winter lettuce, orientals, lambs lettuce, spinach, coriander, dill, etc. as well as hardy annual flowers for next spring. After mid month you can sow broad beans and round-seeded peas that will grow up early next year (check the descriptions of individual varieties to make sure they are suitable for autumn-sowing).
Growing tips for September:
- September is a time to reflect on the busy summer months in your garden and to reap the rewards as you harvest your fruits and vegetables of your patch
- Try preserving some of your veggies by pickling, fermenting, freezing and jarring
- Save seed from some of your favourite flowers like calendula, cosmos, californian poppy etc. Dry them out indoors and store in a labelled paper bag in a cool and dry place
- Instead of clearing out the beds of spent vegetables completely, try cutting them off at the base and leaving the roots in the ground. Your soil will be grateful for the additional organic matter.
- Now is a good time to mulch. Spread loose materials (wood chips, leaf mould, grass clippings etc.) on your empty beds and around the plants that will stay in the ground over winter, such as cabbages, perennial fruit bushes and trees. It is a good way to protect your soil.
- Reduce watering your tomatoes and capsicums to encourage ripening
- Harvest squashes and pumpkins after they have changed colour, ‘cure’ them in a warm dry place for a couple of weeks which will toughen the skin and increase storability, and store in a dry airy place for winter