Well here we are – Autumn. Summer is such a busy time – with a young family off school, but also in the garden – and September always seems to arrive so quickly. It’s a lovely month though; harvest time, beautiful angles of sunshine, and still plenty of warm weather to enjoy. And it’s also quite a productive month for sowing seeds and growing new plants, some to enjoy soon and some to get started for next year. Here’s what to plant now.
It’s a bit late now to sow spring onion seeds for harvesting this year, but get them in the ground now and they’ll be ready to eat around April next year. I’ve always sown spring onions thinly in rows, but I’m going to try another method this year – sowing about 10 seeds in a decent-sized pot. This way you can harvest the whole clump in one go, and you free up some ground for other crops too. Worth a try I think.
Spinach is a great option for a vegetable plot; it’s quite hardy and you can harvest it when the leaves are small for salads, or use larger leaves in cooking. If you’re going to sow it outdoors, do it soon as later in the month seeds may need protection in order to germinate. Try to grow spinach in a sunny spot and water and harvest it regularly to avoid bolting.
Spring flowering bulbs
Spend a bit of time this month planting Spring flowering bulbs and you’ll make such a difference to the amount of interest in your garden at the end of Winter. Daffodils, crocus and hyacinths should all be planted by the end of September; hang on a bit longer to plant tulips though. It’s also worth potting up a bulb lasagne, which is a container layered with bulbs that flower at different times; this is a brilliant way to get a long display of flowers for minimal effort!
Radish can really perk up a salad at this time of year, and quick-maturing varieties like ‘French Breakfast’ can be ready in under four weeks. The speed of growth makes them great to grow with children too. Alternatively you can sow winter varieties which will take 2-3 months to mature. With space available at this time of year where Summer crops have been harvested, you may have room to try both.
After a winter of root vegetables, being able to harvest something green and leafy in early Spring is a real treat. If you want to sow spring cabbage seeds direct into the ground, try to choose a sunny spot and make sure you walk over the soil to compact it a bit before sowing, as cabbages like a firm anchor for their roots. You can also sow seeds into trays for planting out later, this makes it easier to protect them from slugs and snails. Good varieties to try are ‘Durham Early’, ‘Duncan’ and ‘Greensleeves’.
Are you planning on growing any of these crops this month, or something completely different? Let me know in the comments.