August has been a relaxing month of watering and harvesting but as we head into September, suddenly the work steps up a gear. My allotment is currently overrun with squash – I definitely didn't need to plant so many and I say the same every year but can never resist! So I have Courgette ‘Zephyr’ FI growing in abundance and now many of the Pumpkin ‘Jack Be Little’ taking over the pathways as well as where the potatoes were growing.
With the hot weather and plenty of rain, aphids have been a problem for me on the plot this year but I have left it to nature to decide the outcome, as there have been plenty of ladybirds around meaning my crops have been well looked after. My freezer is now full of runner beans, and it’s a good job I harvested plenty before the strong winds a few weeks back, because the cane supports fell over and my kind allotment neighbour staked them back up. That’s one brilliant part of owning an allotment, meeting and helping your plot neighbours makes for a lovely community feel.
September is a great month, as the weather is still mostly warm and the harvests continue to come, but it’s also a month of preparing for winter and spring. I read a lovely quote that gardening is like stepping into your future, and that’s exactly right! As I lift my old plants, a thick layer of mulch will be applied and left over the colder months in preparation for next year. I still have plenty of winter vegetables growing such as Kale ‘Reflex’ and ‘Black Magic’ plus my Christmas potatoes have been planted and are already growing fast. It won’t be long before my over-wintering onions will be planted as well.
The Rhino greenhouse has been home to many delicious fruits and vegetables this year and as the Tomatoes come to an end during September the pots will be washed and stored away, leaving only chillies and microgreens. As I will be overseas for October, the chillies will be moved to my kitchen windowsill and the microgreens harvested until new seeds can be sown when I get back.
On a cooler day during September, I will be putting my feet up and checking out the new season plant and seed catalogues so I can pick the bulbs to plant for spring colour next year. I can’t resist a Tulip or two!