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What to do for a bountiful vegetable harvest in September

The British Harvest Festival takes place in late September, so there’s plenty of vegetables to reap this month – as well as to sow in terms of future produce.

Potatoes

Lift maincrop potatoes, then spread out to dry thoroughly before storing in a shed or garage in hessian or paper sacks, making sure you remove any with signs of rot.

Pumpkins & squash

Remove any leaves covering the fruit to allow ripening when the sun shines. If you can, raise off the ground onto wood or slate, which will prevent rot.

Tomatoes

Tomato plants in the greenhouse require watering until the end of summer. Pinch out cordon tomato plants’ tips to encourage ripening. Before the weather turns cold, harvest any trusses for indoor ripening.

Chillies

As with tomatoes, continue watering until autumn begins. String up chillies by their stems and hang on wire or string thread and hang somewhere dry and warm.

Beans & peas

Feed and water runner and French beans and peas, and harvest while fresh to avoid them setting seed. Once the crop has finished, cut away the plants, leaving the roots in the ground. Hardy varieties can also be sown this month for early cropping next year.

Sweetcorn

Check the plants are ready for harvesting by pinching a kernel. If ripe, a milky sap will be emitted.

Onions & shallots

Winter cropping varieties can be sown from mid-September. Plant in a sunny plot around ten centimetres apart, leaving the tip just protruding from the soil.

Herbs

Plant some basil, chives, oregano, parsley and mint to grow on the kitchen windowsill for winter use.

Once your plants have been sowed and you’re waiting for them to grow, you can sit back and relax on your rattan garden furniture.

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