16.5 C
Monday, July 15, 2024
GardeningVegetables in September

Vegetables in September

Hopefully after a wet August we will have an Indian summer. The hot spell in June fired up all our summer crops, with the result that most have continued yielding well in the damp weather.

A high point has been over 100 cucumbers off one plant, variety Passandra, with no signs of it slowing down as fruits grow on all the side shoots trained above our peppers. Tomato blight is worse than usual this year, so we have cut off quite a few fruit trusses, and left the vents open to increase air circulation. Some outdoor Gardeners Delight, although producing less fruit, are extremely tasty.

Slugs have been loving the wet and its proving tricky to sow new crops outdoors.  Carrots and celeriac are growing well, but a first bite on quick-growing skin by a slug will soon be followed by other wildlife like woodlice. Most field-scale carrots are lifted now and meticulously stored at 0-3 degrees C and 98% humidity, so we just put up with increasingly nibbled carrots dug fresh from the soil. We have dug most of our potatoes now as both slugs and blight were beginning to afflict the tubers.

One crop you can still sow outdoors is Rocket, which we sow thinly on the soil surface. We sow Wild or Salad, but it’s such a popular crop now that there are many varieties to choose from. You can pick leaves right though winter and when it rises to flower, try cutting it off at ground level and it should sprout again. Sowing oriental leaf mixes now can provide leaves early next spring, together with leaf beet, land cress, coriander and chervil.

Winter salads grown indoors are most productive, best from an August sowing but not too late even now, and we have many modules of spinach, Little Gem lettuce and a few favoured orientals and mustards to transplant under our tomatoes before we cut them down.

As our summer crops slowly fade, it is great to see winter ones like parsnips growing bigger and stronger. Under Enviromesh the cabbage and leeks seem to double in size every week.

And now there is a new technical term for a warm sunny day after two wet ones. It’s called Monday.


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