September in the Vegie Patch

spring kaleSeptember’s plate is refreshingly green – saladings, celery, parsley, cress, silverbeet, kale, nettle, the last of the broccoli and cabbage, and (joy oh joy) by the end of the month the first of the asparagus.

Planning for Summer Crops

Keep your soil alive and fertile by replacing crops as soon as they finish. Sow either a greencrop (which’ll be chopped down late November for December plantings) or a food crop. To keep your soil balanced follow your crop rotation. No crop rotation? Can I encourage you to have a go? It’s overwhelming in the beginning, I know, but crop rotation makes such a big contribution to your soil health that it’s worth the pain. Find freedom from fear of crop rotation at our Abundant Vegie Patch workshop on October 24th.

Be mindful of your summer garden when you’re planting out this spring. All that springy zeal infiltrates and before you know it you’ve filled the vegie patch (such gay abandon), leaving you with no room for your summer seedlings.

Quick turn around crops like bok choy, kale, mustard greencrop, salads and mesclun will tide you over and be done by time you want the bed in 3 months time for tomatoes etc. Timing is the thing. You’ll get it, just keep doing it. Perhaps Spring in the Vegie Patch will help you out.

September Sowings and Plantings

In the Vegie Patch

Plant out Broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, kale, silverbeet, parsley, salads, onions, celery
Direct sow carrots, spinach, fennel, dill, mesclun, coriander, radish, rocket, salads, bok choy, kale, snopeas, peas
Tray sow salads, parsley, chervil and lots of companion flowers.

In the Greenhouse

Tray sow tomato, pepper, aubergine, zuchinni, cucumber
Direct sow dwarf beans.
Prepare kumara to grow shoots
Treat your greenhouse like your garden and rotate crops around.

Look after your Garlic

For fat, juicy garlic bulbs you need to keep the weeds at bay. Weeds have voracious root systems that beat shallow rooted garlic to the soil goodness, they also block air flow (fungus alert!) You worked hard to make that soil great for your garlic, don’t waste it. Established weeds are time consuming to remove and can dislodge the bulbs, so get them when they’re small and easy to remove.

Beetroot Smarts

Chioggia beetroot

Beetroot will do best (grow faster and sweeter) when direct sown in soil that’s 10 degrees. Get a soil thermometer and check. We’re eating the last of our autumn beetroot now, so as soon as I can I’m sowing more. A cloche is the only way I’ll get my soil that warm in September. (I think all the advice to sow now comes from Auckland!)