The Vegetable Growing Year: Jobs to do in September

September marks the end of the summer, most of your crops are either finished or due to be harvested. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do on the plot. If you’re lucky, you might have an Indian summer with clear blue skies, giving you chance to get ready for winter.

Green Manures
If your beds are vacant and you’ve got nothing to plant, consider using some green manure. Green manures are often used on bare soil to help smother weeds and help lock in the nutrients. They are then dug into the ground in spring releasing the nutrients back into the soil and also help improve the soil structure.

Empty your Compost Bins
Autumn generally sees a glut of compostable material as plants and crops die back. Make room for this by applying homemade compost as a mulch around existing crops or to top up the beds. Any plant material you are composting, mix with grass clippings, pruning’s and fallen leaves for a rich compost next year.

The Great Harvest
Runner beans and French beans will continue to provide you with a harvest. Keep picking over them every couple of days to extend the harvest.
Your main crop potatoes should be ready now. Once you’ve lifted them, dig the area over again a few days later to get the ones left behind.
Squashes and pumpkins should be ripening. Lift them off the ground to stop them from rotting underneath. For larger squashes and pumpkins use an old pallet.
Main crop carrots will also be ready soon. Pull them up and store in damp sand over winter. Any damaged carrots can be frozen.

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