September marks the onset of autumn and can be regarded as the start of the new gardening year. It's a busy month because the weather can change quickly. It's a good idea to get on top of jobs now to save time and work next spring and to prevent having to work in colder, harsher conditions.
Onions and potatoes need to be dug out of the soil before the ground becomes too cold and damp.
Onions must to be kept in the light and potatoes need to be stored in the dark to prevent them from turning green. Both have to be stored somewhere frost free.
Courgettes and marrows must be cut regularly because they will be finished by the end of the month, as will outdoor tomatoes. Remove any green tomatoes and place them in a drawer or shoebox, with a banana, to ripen.
Harvest apples and pears as they become ready and pick strawberries, grapes, blackberries, autumn raspberries, figs, plums, damsons, gages, cape gooseberries, melons, cranberries, blueberries.
Now we have shorter, cooler days it is the perfect time to sow over-wintering vegetables such as perpetual spinach, winter lettuces, radishes, Oriental leaves, rocket, and winter hardy spring onions. They will germinate quickly and are hardy enough to withstand the cold of winter and will provide a steady supply of fresh leaves well into the spring of next year.
Plant new strawberry plants, sooner they are in, the sooner they establish and therefore produce a bigger crop next year.
Complete the summer pruning of soft fruit bushes, apple and pear trees. Continue with their training and tying in.
Feed all late crops with a general fertiliser such as pelleted chicken manure.
Tall, feathery asparagus foliage will be starting to turn yellow and should be cut down to just 2.5 cm above ground level.
Dig up and compost any plants that have finished their season. Clear the soil of spent crops and leave it rough dug over for the winter.
Slugs and snails are still a problem.
Advice courtesy of The National Allotment Society