September is a great month for the garden. The summer holidays are coming to a close, the days are beginning to feel a bit autumnal and there are still loads of fruit and vegetables to harvest, so there’s no time to rest.
The start of the year began fantastically well with almost no frost in some parts of the country, so vegetables and fruit have done especially well this year. However August was a bit different. Temperatures dropped and wind picked up thanks to the aftermath of Bertha. Our garden was pretty much blown to the ground. Runner Beans were flattened, outdoor tomatoes were snapped like twigs and the courgettes took a massive battering. It was such a shame, however there were plenty of things that survived thank goodness and there is still chance to turn the decimation around.
If you’ve not done so already order your autumn planting onions, shallots and garlic to make sure they arrive ready for planting in October or November. There are lots of really great Garlic varieties to choose from, like Carcassone Wight, which isa pink-cloved hardneck type with a strong flavour and good aroma. Chesnok Wight is another hardneck variety, this time a white one with a strong, robust flavour which makes it exceptional for garlic bread and roasting. New to Marshalls is Garlic Red Duke, a beautiful hardneck with red cloves. It originates from Moravia, Czech Republic and has good strength of flavour and although there are others with similar colouring, Red Duke has far superior white skin cover and is a harder, more durable garlic in the UK climate. It has a particularly strong garlic flavour and scent.
For an over wintering onion, the best types are Radar, Senshyu Yellow, Red Cross and Shakespeare as they have good resistance to bolting. If you’re looking for shallots, Biztro and Yellow Moon are both reliable varieties.
It’s a good time to order your Broad Beans for sowing next month. Aquadulce Claudia is the best autumn sowing variety that gives you the earliest harvest next spring.Broad Bean The Sutton is a good choice if you’re lacking on spacebecause each plant is compact and can be planted more closely together than other varieties. If you prefer plants ready to pop out in your plot we also do these varieties as Young Plants too.
Some varieties of peas, such as Pea Douce Provence, can be sownnow for overwintering and will give you a really early crop next year. This particular variety is so good that you can almost grow it all year round!
If you’ve harvested your potatoes, you’ve made some space for other quick turnaround cropswhilst the weather allows it. Turnip Tiny Pal can give you a crop of delicious baby turnips which are perfect in a winter stew and Rocket and Bright and Spicy Salad Mix both grow very quickly and will add some zest to your late summer and autumn salads. Perpetual Spinach is a good choice because it will overwinter giving you a crop in early spring and late winter.
Sow Winter Lettuce and Carrots while the soil is still warm but use Cloches or Fleece for an extra earlier crop in the spring. Chinese Cabbage, Mizuna, Mustard, Pak Choy and other Oriental vegetables can all be sown under protection now.
After all of your crops have been harvested from your greenhouse fill up your Greenhouse Gro-Beds with crops to overwinter. There are plenty of crops that will thrive in Gro-Beds – simply remove all the old plants and debris top up with compost and mix in a bit of General Purpose or Slow Release Fertiliser. The Gro-Bedsarea great investment because they’re really durable and will last for many seasons.
Instead of leaving the bed empty why not grow green manures such as Field Beans, Mustard and Phacelia. They are a really good thing to sow if you have empty vegetable beds after the harvesting. They suppress weeds, reduce soil erosion and nutrient leaching and will add structure to your soil once dug in. To prepare your ground remove any weeds and large stones and then sow the seeds, it’s that easy. Green manures grow quite quickly, giving the soil some protection and nutrition before they are dug in three weeks prior to planting. As they breakdown they create humus and nutrition for next season of crops. Caliente Mustard releases naturally occurring compounds which acts as a biofumigantkilling many soil borne pests and diseases.
If you haven’t done so yet, harvest your main crop potatoes by the end of the month. Do this by cutting down the stems about 10–14 days before lifting the potatoes. This will help set the skins. When you lift them, make sure you don’t leave any behind or else you’ll get rouge spuds popping up among your other crops. Let them drybefore you store them or tofurther set their skin, store in Hessian Sacks and keep in a cool, dark place. Don’t store damaged or diseased potatoes as this will affect the storage potential of the rest of the crop.
Now is the perfect time to plant Spring Flowering Bulbs. We have some great offers on the website and there are many varieties to choose from so you’re bound to find one that suits you and your garden. Many can be grown as cut flowers so can be grown near the veg patch to brighten your home in spring.
Autumn Bedding plants such as Violas, Pansies or Primulas will freshen and brighten your beds, borders and containers. If your garden is looking a bit sorry at the end of summer then autumn bedding will definitely lift your garden at the end of the season.
During late summer our brassica crops can be devastated by Cabbage white butterfly.They work fast and if you don’t keep on top of regular checks and removing of all the caterpillars and eggs as soon as they are seen, your whole crop can be decimated! PYInsect Killer is really effect at tackling the problem and as long as you spray both sides of the leaves it should do the trick.
If you prefer a more organic method, cover your crops with Insect Netting as soon as you plant them out. The netting acts as a physical barrier and prevents the butterflies getting near the crop so make sure the net isn’t touching any leaves or the butterflies might get through and lay some eggs! Other netting such as Extra Fine Insect Barrier Net will protect against small pests such as ones such as brassica root fly and whitefly.
Harvest your onions and shallots once the foliage has died back. Let them dry before storing in nets as this will help prolong shelf life and reduce the risk of storage diseases. Keep them in a cool, dry and airy place and use the ones with thicker necks first because they might not store as long. Celery and leeks could do with a final earthing up to give them a helping hand with blanching and also to protect them from any cold weather we might encounter.