September is the month where you can really see the rewards of all of the hard work that you put into your veggie patch over the winter months. Right now veggies are just bursting out of the ground, and are growing at a great rate. The buds of the dormant fruiting plants are coming to life and the crops that have been slowly growing during the colder months start to take off, and before you know it you are merrily munching on more of your own home grown produce than you can handle. All of it fresh, crunchy and very tasty. September has seen a bounty of veggies for me this year and I am rather enjoying it. I have been eating Broccoli, Cabbage, Upland Cress, Rocket, Coriander, Parsley, Carrots, Beetroot, Spinach, Silverbeet, Spring Onions, Asparagus, Snow Peas, Sugar Snap Peas and I have just started eating the first Broad Beans.
September is also one of the busiest preparation and planting months in the garden. This year I have been able to get a head start on the growing season by building a little greenhouse where I have been able to sow my seedlings in small pots and grow them into a reasonable size ready to plant out into the garden. It has worked well.
This time of year the soil is alive with worms and looking so good you just want to dive your hands into it. No sooner than a crop is harvested I start to prepare the garden bed for the next plants I have scheduled. The 3 compost bins are getting a workout as I remove all the old vegetation and dump it in to feed the worms. All the beds have been prepared with plenty of compost, some manure and depending on what I intend to plant, maybe blood and bone and lime.
The veggies that I have put into the garden so far this month are, Sweetcorn, Lettuce, Chilli, Capsicum, Basil, Spring Onions, 16 different types of Tomatoes, Zucchini, Butternut Pumpkin, Lebanese Cucumber, Rocket, Kohlrabi, 4 different types of Potatoes, and some Silverbeet. It is growing quickly and I think it will not be too long before I am eating it. One thing I need to do is to make sure that I don’t get too excited and fill up every available space. There still needs to be a spot in the garden for more Potatoes, Sweetcorn, Lettuce, Coriander, Bush and Climbing Beans, Turmeric, Ginger, Salad Greens and Spring Onions in coming weeks.
September is also the time to prepare the garden for summer. Getting the mulch down, cleaning out the irrigation system and checking that all of the drippers are freely flowing, pulling up those stray weeds that you missed pulling because you were sitting inside keeping warm instead of working in the garden, turning the compost, and fertilising the plants.
It is also the time that garden pests start to increase. Watch out for the littler blighters and if needed, spray with a natural pesticide. Slugs and snails are also running rampant (or should that be slithering?) and will wipe out your entire day’s work of planting young seedlings if they get the opportunity. Set up a beer trap and give them a drink, or use snail bait if you prefer. Make sure that you look after your insect eating birds, they are the best insect control you can get I reckon.
So that is my September Spring Veggie Garden. Bursting out of the soil and almost looking at it’s best. I say almost because the best thing about September is that in 4-6 weeks the veggie patch will be at its peak. All of the hardest spring work is over and most of your planting is almost ready to eat. Bring it on!