September 2017 Newsletter

Have you seen the first leaf fall yet? Although September can go either way as far as weather and the heat is concerned, the nights are drawing in earlier and your fruit and vegetable patch is full of ripe crops for the picking. It’s definitely the onset to autumn and a busy time in the garden.

The Marshalls September catalogue comes out soon so be sure to take a look at the fantastic new and exciting varieties of onions, garlics and shallots, potatoes and soft fruit. Take advantage of the special offers where you can make great savings too. See our news item below.

In the meantime enjoy the outdoors at this lovely time of year.

 

Jobs to do now...

Cut down home-grown cordon tomatoes

Now it’s September cut down cordon tomatoes and harvest the tomatoes whether they are ripen, ripening or still unripe.

Place all the tomatoes in a bowl together on a windowsill in the sun. The ripe tomatoes will encourage neighbouring unripe tomatoes to develop.

Place your tomato stems in the compost unless they are affected by blight, in which case include them in the general rubbish.

 

Cover seedlings of autumn-sowing vegetables

Carrot Primo, radish purple Plum, lettuce Winter Density can all be sown now for harvests as early as next month and into autumn and winter.

After sowing, water and leave seeds to germinate, which normally takes from around two weeks. Once you notice the seedlings growing cover them with horticultural fleece. This provides a healthy internal environment for your seedlings, helping them grow faster and more robustly.

 

Plant green manures

A great way for organic vegetable growers to improve their soil without using harmful chemicals.

Green manure suppresses weeds, protects soil from washing away and improves the soil texture as well allowing more air pockets in the soil for healthy roots. Legumes (beans) absorb nitrogen from the atmosphere and ‘fix' it into the soil through root nodules making it easily available for crops planted afterwards.

Sow green manure seeds whenever the ground is to be left bare for more than 6 weeks. Dig them in while they’re fresh and green and leave 2-3 weeks before planting your new crop. This allows the breakdown of plant material into humus, releasing nutrients slowly over time.

 

Start harvesting top fruit

Top fruit includes tree fruit like apples, pears, plums and figs. If you start noticing a collection of fruit having fallen from the tree, it’s a good indicator that the fruit is ready to harvest.

Harvest a regular quantity of fruit daily, rather than a glut less often, picking the fullest and most coloured fruits. Remove by twisting the fruit first and then tugging gently. Pulling fruit off the tree forcefully may damage remaining stems and buds that will develop fruit next year.

Inspect fruit regularly if you’re storing them and remove fruit that are rotten or rotting, to avoid moulds and diseases spreading.

 

Help ripen squashes and pumpkins

You can harvest your pumpkins and squashes sooner by exposing the growing vegetables (technically fruit) to the sun. Do this by removing the leaves around the pumpkins, leaving other leaves for weed-suppressing ground cover.

Keep giving your pumpkins and squashes plenty of water in September, especially if it’s particularly hot and dry. This will keep the developing vegetables full and smooth and help bring on quicker ripening.

 

Enjoy big harvests of tasty raspberries which taste lovely when grown in your own garden and ripened by the sun. Different varieties offer their own flavour and level of sweetness or sharpness. Here are three varieties to order now for lovely crops next year.

 

Varieties to try...

Raspberry Versailles - A free-fruiting primocane raspberry variety, that forms extra-long conical fruit on first-year old spineless wood. Support canes as they grow in spring, and once the fruit forms in their first late-summer they abound around the plant, bright-coloured and easy to pick.

Raspberry Autumn Bliss - Autumn Bliss, has distinctive red berries, disease resistance and long cropping season from early August to first frosts, this short, strong caned variety has been the gardeners' choice for many years.

Raspberry All Gold - All Gold-A novel variety producing attractive yellow fruit for lovely autumn colour. The same vigour, habit and cropping potential as Autumn Bliss but with superior, sweeter-tasting fruit.

 

Recipe of the month

Raspberry Fool

Sweet and refreshing. A real indulgent treat to enjoy after spending a long afternoon in the garden or allotment!

  • 500g (18oz) freshly-picked raspberries
  • 125g (4 ½ oz) caster sugar
  • 568ml (1 pint) whipping cream
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) raspberry liquer or jus (reduced and sieved raspberries)

 

Method:

Set aside around 200g (7oz) raspberries. 

Mash 300g (10 ½ oz) raspberries with 25g (1 oz) sugar and the liquer or jus. 

In a separate bowl, whip the cream with 100g sugar until you form peaks in the cream. 

Fold in the raspberry sauce to form a raspberry ripple effect. 

Divide into brandy glasses or tumblers and distribute the remaining 200g (70oz) of whole raspberries on top.

 

Pest and Disease Watch

Pidgeons

Woodpigeon numbers are on the up and they just love stripping bare the leaves of brassicas like cabbages and broccolis. They go for ornamentals too like lilacs so what do you do when you live near the country and there are woodpigeons looking for their next meal.

Bird scarers will deter pigeons in the form of ribbons or even as decoys like the wind-action pest-scaring owl. Moving its head in the wind, it looks like a genuine predator keeping woodpigeons away.

News

NEW Autumn Catalogue out soon!

Look out for the Marshalls September catalogue 2017 coming soon and landing at your door. There’s lots to look out for including NEW and exciting varieties like raspberry Versailles and great offers like a half-price Ruby Beauty 5L plant, worth £25 when you spend over £30 or a half-price Soil Testing Kit worth £11.99 when you spend over £40.

The offers just keep coming;

  • Save £1 per pack on 2 or more seed potato packs
  • Save 50p per pack when you buy 2 or more packs of onions, shallots and garlic
  • Get the cheapest free on 10 packs of seeds
  • Free tree support kit worth £7.99 with every bare root fruit tree
  • Get pens and labels, saving £3.99 when you spend over £5 on vegetables seeds

Look out for your catalogue to land at your door soon or order a Catalogue Online