September is an exciting month for me! Cooler weather, tomatoes are tastier, the feel of the mornings and evening feel like fall in well on its way and that makes me feel refreshed and inspired!
Vegetable beds should be prepared for new seeds and seedlings. For our climate we start to plant cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, green onions, Brussels sprouts, wintering onions (walla walla), lettuce and spinach.
Tomatoes more than likely have lots of small green fruit that may or may not ripen before the first fall frost. By cutting back any new vigorous growth without small fruit, energy will be pushed back, helping the ripening process. Also, cutting back on water will stress the plant, telling it to “hurry” and ripen!
Bush beans have usually been producing for a couple of months now and beginning to show signs of exhaustion. Harvest one last crop and till those nitrogen catching plants back into the soil. If nothing else, add them to the compost pile.
Add color to your flower beds with flowering cabbages, kale, viola and pansies. Depending on your climate, they will last through the winter and right in to a beautiful blooming spring!
Pumpkins should be fully ripened this month, or at least very near so. A hard, dry stalk will tell you that a pumpkin is ripe and you will no longer be able to dig a fingernail into the skin. Brush off any dirt and leave part of the stock/stem attached to keep better.
Autumn is an ideal time for planting most deciduous ornamental and edible shrubs and trees.
Feed Leeks! A bed of large, healthy leeks should see you through winter months. Leeks are tough plants that rarely need watering, but benefit from an occasional feeding with a balanced liquid fertilizer. Give them a boost now for better leeks this winter.