WHICH VEGETABLE SEEDS CAN BE SOWN IN SEPTEMBER?




The long, hot days of summer are behind us now, and even though we are moving into the cooler days of autumn there are still a few vegetable crops that are worth getting now for harvesting over late autumn and winter.

During September, air and soil temperatures are still excellent for germination so you can still sow some of the faster growing crops that you would have been familiar with in the spring.

Although it's too late for most things now you will still have an excellent chance of success with one last sowing of spring onions, and radish. However, your best – and almost bulletproof - choices would be plants from fast growing salad families.

Onion ‘Hi Keeper’

This is the best bulb variety to sow outdoors in autumn for over-wintering, Onion Hi Keeper produces quality bulbs, approximately 120 grams in weight and are ideal for exhibiting as well as in the kitchen. It has good winter hardiness, preferring a rich, moist soil in an open situation.

Onion ‘White Lisbon’ – winter hardy

This is a dual purpose onion that resists bulbing up enabling it to be pulled for a longer period than regular varieties. Spring Onion Winter White Bunching also has excellent overwintering qualities and, can be sown either late August for late May pulling or in spring and summer for summer/autumn crops.

Spring Cabbage

There are a number of different varieties of spring cabbage available, all of which are suitable for planting in September for harvesting next spring. They will need an open, sunny site which offers some protection against harsh winter winds. The soil should be light and well-drained as nothing will damage them more than cold, water-logged conditions in the cold winter. Don't add manure or nitrogen rich fertilisers as this will simply encourage vulnerable green growth.

Radish: this is an ideal crop to grow after the heat of summer as the shorter, cooler days will inhibit flowering. This is important as flowering will cause the flavoursome root to turn bitter and unpalatable. Sow directly into prepared seed beds in a sunny position.

For more on growing radish from seed click onto:
How to Grow Radish from Seed

Salad leaves

There are still a few mixes and varieties of salad leaves that can be grown at this time of year for both ‘cut and grow’ or just as a normal crop plant. Conveniently, they will all have very similar growing conditions. They require a free draining, humus rich soil that will hold plenty of moisture during the growing period. To prevent the common physiological disorder of 'Tip burn' that can be experienced with some soils, you may wish to add lime before planting. In preparation to sowing, dig over the soil and add plenty of compost such as leaf mould or well rotted manure. A week or so before sowing your seeds, rake the soil over to produce a fine tilth. You may also wish to apply a general fertiliser at this time. Below is a list of salad varieties that are commonly available.

Lettuce Winter Gem

A specially bred, Little Gem Cos lettuce, this late season salad is ideal for sowing from September to January. Although this fantastic variety loves the cold it will need to be kept under protection during the worst of the winder either in an unheated greenhouse or in a cold. Lettuce Winter Gem has delicious small, crunchy, sweet hearts equal in taste to Little Gem. Sow seeds into individual pots or a seed tray of a good quality seed compost, cover seeds with 6mm (¼in) of compost or vermiculite, keep at a minimum of 15C (60F), until germination which takes 7-10 days.
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Also try Lettuce 'Winter Density - a semi-cos type with outstanding winter hardiness. and one last batch of Lollo Rossa and Bioda, Oriental Mustard,Lambs lettuce - also known as Corn Salad or Mache, Mizuna Kyoto - oriental baby leaf salad, and Mesclun- a mix of small salad leaves popular around the Mediterranean.

For related articles click onto the following links:
FRUIT AND VEGETABLES FOR GROWING IN OCTOBER
Thompson & Morgan: What to sow and grow in September 
FRUIT AND VEGETABLE PLANTS FOR SOWING AND GROWING IN NOVEMBER
WHICH VEGETABLE SEEDS CAN BE SOWN IN JANUARY?
WHICH VEGETABLE SEEDS CAN BE SOWN IN AUGUST?
WHICH VEGETABLE SEEDS CAN BE GROWN IN NOVEMBER?

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