Ideas for September & Autumn

September is upon us already and here’s hoping everyone has enjoyed a lovely summer break. Birstwith Show has been and gone and was once more a great success. A big thankyou to everyone who entered something in the marquee this year, entries were up on last year and the exhibits were superb. I hope some of you won some well earned prizes.

Our rather chilly early summer delayed many crops and I suspect like me your veg gardens are still merrily cropping and the flower borders are holding some blooms and colour. Peas and lettuce this year enjoyed the cool conditions and produced bumper crops. By now any tomatoes that havn’t ripened may need to be picked and ripened on a sunny windowsill or greenhouse shelf. ┬áThe key to late summer colour is to deadhead regularly,collecting any seeds from your favourite plants and storing until spring. Any empty ground can now be forked over and spread with compost or mulch ready for sowings of onions, spring cabbage and garlic.

Garlic needs to spend time in cold soil so planting in October and November is ideal. Salad crops can still be sown in greenhouses or coldframes for early winter supplies.  September is a good time to take cuttings from fushsias, penstemon, heather and many hebes. Overwinter in a protected place, keeping moist but not wet and they should root quickly giving you lovely new plants for next year.

Maureen Smith

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