Sunday, September 17, 2017

September edible garden tips

Mid-September edible garden
Sunday, September 17, 2017

The garden is winding down in this mid-September.  Here are some things to do in the garden in September

If you are not using all the space in your garden, you can use green “manure” over the winter to add nutrients, suppress weeds and prevent soil erosion of your garden bed.  To add fertility to the soil, sow green manures in the garden this month, let them grow through the winter, then dig-in in early spring.  

Green manures include things like legumes for nitrogen and organic matter (Australian field peas, small fava, banner fava, hairy vetch, common vetch, and vernel summer alfalfa) and clovers for breaking up soil and lots of organic matter (miniclover, new zealand white clover, crimsom clover, fixation balansa clover, mammoth red clover and berseem clover)

Allow at least two weeks between tilling under and planting your spring garden veggies.

To stop pumpkins, cucumbers, summer squash, ornamental gourds, and tomatoes from growing and stimulate ripening, pinch out the ends  of the shoots.  Green tomatoes can be placed near a banana to help ripening.

Check apples and pears for ripening.  Early apples should be picked and eaten.  Gather pears before ripening and let them finish ripening indoors.  Finish pruning the apples and pears by cutting back new growth, particularly on trained trees such as espaliers and cordons.

Order your spring blooming bulbs like daffodils, tulips and hyacinths now for planting in October and November.    

Order your garlic for planting in October and November.

Certain seeds can still be planted for winter harvest or for early crops next year, these include arugula, beets (Flat of Egypt, Touchstone Gold, Avalanche, Boldor), cold hardy winter salad mixes, carrots (for baby carrots and spring harvests),  corn salad, fava beans (Aquadulce, Robin Hood & The Sutton), mustard greens, bunching onions, parsley root, overwintering peas (Australian field peas, Meteor and Douce Provence),  snow peas (Green Beauty, Little Snowpea), radishes (Celesta, Runder Schwarzer Winter, Roxanne, Sweet Baby, Dragon, Sora), perpetual spinach, turnips (Tokyo Cross, Purple Top, Just Right) and winter lettuces (Winterwunder, Wintergreen, Winter Brown, Artic King, North Pole, Winter Density, Joker).  

Look for cold hardy types with short “Days to Harvest” on the seed packet.

Now is the time to also start the clean up of the garden beds.  I leave my flowers so that the birds can eat the seeds over the winter.  Any diseased foilage, do not add to the compost to keep it from spreading.  All the rest goes into the composter. 

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