It has got to that time of year that every time I visit the allotment, I end up with bags, or even boxes in some cases, of produce. I have handed over harvest packages to family and friends on a regular basis. At times, I can honestly say that I get fed up of constantly having to pick the stuff as I find storing and even trying to use up the produce before it goes off a struggle.
My freezer is full to the rim – I have even taken over my brothers freezer too!! I have made chutneys, sauces, pickles, jams and cakes, yet the produce seems never ending.Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining; I’m just frustated about ways to store the amount that I harvest without the food going to waste. This problem of storage definitely needs to be taken into consideration when I start sowing my seeds for next years’ harvest (Mental note to self – Refer back to this post in March 2014)!
Jobs to do………in September
- Lift maincrop potatoes and leave to dry in the sun for a few hours to dry the skin. This makes them last longer when being stored.
- Perform a general tidy up of the plot in preparation for any structural work that needs to be completed during the Autumn and Winter months.
- Protect squashes and pumpkins that are laying on the ground by placing them on a tile or suchlike. This prevents them from rotting. It may be worthwhile removing some of the leaves around the fruit to gain maximum sun to help with ripening.
- Keep harvesting your vegetables to encourage production. In some cases, the more you pick the more you get!
- Remove as many leaves that you can from tomato plants to help maximise the amount of sun that the unripe fruit need.
- Keep adding contents to the compost bin, ensuring to add an equal amount of brown waste and green. Turn regularly to aid decompostion.
- If not already done so, make a new strawberry bed with the runners from the existing plants.
- Prune blackcurrant bushes, removing all the woody growth that has produce the fruit this year.
- Transplant any spring cabbages that you may have started growing last month.
- Continue to water all veg – especially in dry weather.
- Protect delicate crops for colder weather such as lettuces with cloches or mini polythene tunnels.
- Although you may be over run with beans now, continue to harvest them while they are still tender to prevent the plant from producing tough, stringy beans.
- After beans and peas have finally finished their production of crops, cut the plant down at root level, leaving the nitrogen rich roots in the soil.
- Keep an eye out now for blight. At the first sign on potato plant leaves, cut the haulms off and burn immediately. Do not place them on the compost heap as you run the risk of the spores spreading more. The potatoes underneath the earth will still be fine for a few more weeks if the haulms were cut off at the first sign of blight.
What to sow………Indoors and outdoors
- Autumn and Winter salads
- Chinese Cabbage
- Pak Choi
- Kohl Rabi
- Hardy Lettuce
- Spring Onion
- Winter radish
What to plant………in September
- Winter Brassicas
- Kohl rabi
- Overwintering Onion sets
Crops in season now
- Spring onions
- Autumn Raspberries
- Kohl Rabi