September is usually the last month to influence garden production. Various vegetables can be harvested this month. Like August, there may be a few courgettes and corn cobs left to harvest. You can still count on beans for a while.
The season of sowing and planting is almost over. September is the last month that you can plant lettuces to harvest fresh just before autumn’s chill. Spinach can also be sown in early September, just like lettuce. A fun experiment for winter is to try planting winter leeks! If you are fortunate enough to find a few leek plants in stores, you can plant them in September. They will not grow very fast, but they can tolerate the cold of winter. Next spring the they will grow quickly and you can harvest leeks in May or June.
Early blackberries were ready in August, but later kinds can be harvested in September. Do not pick the blackberries until they leave the plant effortlessly! At that moment, they are the sweetest. If they still stick to the plant and you have to pull softly to loosen the fruits, you are most likely in for a sour surprise. Have patience!
Once all the blackberries are harvested though, you can trim the bushes. Through the season, young shoots emerged. These runners will provide the fruit next year. Let these new shoots stay, but cut off all branches that bore fruit this year, preventing a blackberry bush from becoming a big mess of branches. When the bush is too dense light cannot easily penetrate the center, meaning smaller blackberries next year. It is a good idea all around to prune your berry bushes. The remaining young branches will grow next year and create side shoots heavy with berries. Something to look forward to, but first enjoy this year’s harvest!
When pieces of you garden are bald and empty after the harvest, it is a good time to put in a green manure plant cover. A green manure is a plant that you don’t intend to eat, it only improves the soil. These useful plants prevent valuable nutrients from leaving the ground and prevent weed growth. There are several types of green manure plants that can be sown. For example, alfalfa, mustard, clover, and lupines are great choices. You can also find green manure plant mixes for sale. These plants will grow gradually through winter and can be dug in after winter. Keeping the plants in the soil to break down will keep their nutrients in the soil, a good start to next year’s vegetable season.
You’ve already noticed the vegetable season begins to run down and it is time to start daydreaming about the next season. There are still a lot of sunny September days left to enjoy while pulling harvest from the garden. Before you know it, October will be here and it will be time to slowly finish up the garden and prepare for winter.