While September may be a great month for harvesting in your vegetable garden, it shouldn’t be forgotten that it’s also a fabulous time to start sowing seeds and sets for vegetables that will bring you harvest over winter and into early spring and summer next year. Soil temperatures should still be relatively warm and your seeds are likely to germinate quickly. Here’s our guide to what vegetables to plant in September – plus we include what you can likely harvest in September and jobs for the vegetable garden that needs doing in September.
In September though it all depends on the weather. Bear in mind that once you’ve got to around the middle of November everything is going to stop growing, so whatever you plant has either got to be harvested by then or staying dormant for the winter months. Polytunnels, cloches and greenhouses can to a certain extent extend this season somewhat.
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Vegetables to Plant in September
There’s usually still quite a lot of heat around in September, so you – depending on the year – you can continue to sow autumn crops that are going to be fast maturing – maybe some turnips you can eat as babies, and some spinach too. September is also a great time to start getting some overwintering vegetables in the ground too. If you’re lucky enough to have a greenhouse or even a polytunnel, then you can use these to keep your growth going when it starts to get a little cooler.
Salad Leaves can still be planted in September
Lambs lettuce is a hardy winter salad that works well being planted in September. You can also continue to sow rocket for fresh salad leaves – as the heat of the summer will have gone now and so will the threat of bolting rocket that comes with that heat. The types of salad leaves you want to look to plant in September are the oriental ones – ones that prefer cooler temperatures. You’ll need to get them in the ground early enough so that they’re a decent enough size by November when everything is going to stop growing. Mizuna is a great variety of rocket for this time of year. Buy salad leves to grow in September here.
Plant Onion Sets in September
September is a great time to plant your overwintering onion sets – you can usually do this until November. You can start to plant onion sets in September. Onion sets need to go in about 10 centimetres apart and just below the surface of the soil. You can sow onion sets directly into the ground or, we also sow them in pots, which we keep in the back yard and which makes it a lot easier to manage. Varieties like Radar are good for planting in both September and a mild October and should be ready to harvest in May.
Plant Overwintering Garlic in September
Garlic is pretty easy to grow – you’re better off using specially bought cloves to plant rather than leftovers from the supermarket, to try and avoid disease in your garden. Just pop a clove in the ground, and you don’t need to do much at all to end up with a full garlic bulb early next summer. Vallelado is a fabulous variety of garlic to grow – buy now and get going.
Start growing mushrooms in September
Mushrooms are a fabulous vegetable to home grow and its possible to grow mushrooms all year round if you use a mushroom growing kits , which are the easiest way to grow your own mushrooms. Starting off is simple, pick up a kit – which includes everything that you need and then expand out. We started with plain white mushrooms (this is a fabulous starter kit here), but you can also grow chestnut mushrooms, oyster mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms. Give it a go! The photo is of our second harvest of mushrooms!
Plant Spring Cabbage in early September
You’ll need to get spring cabbage in the ground early enough in the month so that it’s a decent size to survive the winter. If you’ve sown indoors during August, then you can get them planted out in September. These young plants simply go dormant over the winter and then start growing again in the Spring.
Plant Overwintering Spinach and Chard in September
Plant chard and perpetual spinach in September to get them large enough to survive the winter, even if it’s cold. Perpetual Spinach is a good hardy overwintering vegetable and chard is also a good option for cold winters too. For those who don’t like the somewhat bitter taste of chard, you’ll be glad to hear that it’s less bitter when grown in the cooler part of the year! Try these seeds for overwintering spinach
What Jobs to do in the Vegetable Garden in September
Harvest, harvest, harvest. That’s your main job for September. Plus you can get a good start on composting in September too.
Get your compost REALLY going in September
September usually sees the start of autumnal leaves and lots and lots of grass cuttings. Both of these are great for your compost bin or compost heap. If you’ve been making compost in a compost bin throughout the year and it’s ready then you’ll want to get it onto the garden during the autumn months and start filling the bin again.
What Vegetables to Harvest in September
If you’ve been growing potatoes – like us in our potato grow bags – then the main crop of potatoes should be ready now. Be sure to take all the tubers out. We like to sieve any compost or soil before reusing it in bags and containers, to make sure that anything that we don’t want is removed. Our full in-depth guide on how to grow potatoes in bags is here.
If you’ve sowed onions in the Spring then these will be ready now. Other vegetables that are likely to be ready to harvest in September are
Vegetables to harvest from the greenhouse in September
You should still be able to harvest the following from the greenhouse or polytunnel in September
- Tomatoes – want to know our tomato growing secrets? Here you go
- Chillis – read our guide to preserving chillies here
- Sweet Pepper
Vegetables to harvest from outside in September
Depending on what you’ve planted earlier in the year you should (and we are) be harvesting the following in September
- Maincrop potatoes
- Spinach – read our guide to growing spinach
- Beetroot – need to preserve your beetroot? Here’s all you need to know
- Carrots – check out how to grow carrots in pots and containers here
All our monthly vegetable planting guides
- What vegetables to plant in January
- What vegetables to plant in February
- What vegetables to plant in March
- What vegetables to plant in April
- What vegetables to plant in May
- What vegetables to plant in June
- What vegetables to plant in July
- What vegetables to plant in August
- What vegetables to plant in October
- What vegetables to plant in November
- What vegetables to plant in December
Final words on what veg to plant in September
While you’re reaping the rewards of your work in of earlier in the year during September by harvesting some of those fabulously fresh vegetables you shouldn’t forget to start off overwintering vegetables. September is also usually a great time for a last flush of growth before the slow down of winter begins. Enjoy the last few weeks of relatively stable weather, get a few things going and start planning what you’re going to grow both over winter and into the spring.
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