Thursday, 3 September 2015

September Ramblings

Wow, September already!

There is so much to do in the garden and yard this month that I barely know where to start!

Garden harvest is early this year.

We seem to be several weeks ahead of the game this year, due to the drought and tough watering restrictions. Here are some tips on how to get the rest of your vegetables to finish off in preparation  for garden clean up and winter.

-  Nip the tops off of your vining tomatoes so they stop growing/flowering and instead put their energy into ripening the remaining fruits.

- Cover tomato plants from fall rains to prevent catching Late Blight. Leave the sides and ends of  your cover open to prevent the build up of condensation, which will also spread the fungal spores.

- Vines may start to yellow now and perhaps even have powdery mildew. At this stage of the game, just finish off the last of the cucumbers and do not worry about trying to treat the mildew.

- As with the cukes, do not worry about the powdery mildew at this stage of the game. Allow your last fruits to fully ripen, which they will just do just fine despite the mildew, and then just discard the vines.

- Wait till 90% of tops have folded on their own and then push the rest over. Wait a week to pull them up and then cure for a few weeks before storing.

For more information about vegetable harvest and storage, please see HERE!

Rose hips
- Do not feed! Feeding will encourage new growth which may be fatal when the colder temps arrive.
- Stop deadheading. Allowing hips to form on your roses lets it know that it is time to shut down for the year.

 Plant Spring Bulbs
Looking forward to lots of tulips and daffodils in your gardens next year? Or pots of spring blooms on your doorstep? Lots of terrific Truffela Trees (The Lorax) in your landscape?

Now is the time to pick up spring flowering bulbs and plant them up!
Whether into pots or gardens, spring is much, much too late to find any bulbs, or to plant them up. Do it now, while you still have a great selection to choose from, and can pop into the garden and forget about them till spring.  

Lift summer Bulbs Now...
Lift, dry, cure and store your gladioli, dahlia, canna and calla lily bulbs this month.
For how-to cure and store bulbs over winter, see  HERE!

Sow these flower seeds this fall ...
What to sow in autumn?
- Sweet Peas
- Poppies
- Larkspur
- Nigella ( Love-in-a-mist)
- Snapdragons
- Calendula
- (Sweet) Alyssum
- Rudebeckia (Black Eyed Susan) 
- Bishop’s Lace
- Cornflowers 
- Forget me nots

Sow these veggies from seed now...
-Walla Walla onions (early to mid- month!)
- Collards!
- Spinach!
- Lettuce ( plant as a ground cover, too!)
- Beets  (short day, 55 days or less)
- Fava Beans
- Bush Beans ( 55 days or less)
- Peas. Fall peas are the best!
- Radishes (sow a row every week this month)
- Rutabaga
- Arugula
- Mustard
- Turnips 

What herbs to sow from seed...
- Dill
- Chives/Garlic chives
- Parsley
- Cilantro

What to plant from transplants...
- Kale
- Cauliflower
- Sprouting Broccoli
- Cabbage
- Lettuce
- Spinach
- Swiss Chard

Garlic can be planted after mid-September and till the end of October. More on that in a later post!

Once you get your garden all cleaned up and emptied out, you should do a quick soil test to see what you need for amendments and add those to break down over the winter.

More on garden clean up and amending in the next post. Till then ... Happy Harvest!

 Sweet Pea heirloom currant tomatoes...

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