Action for September Fruit and veg
Save your sweetcorn
Ripe cobs should be picked – if left, they’ll become old and starchy. To freeze, place in boiling water for two minutes, wrap in plastic bags and store in the freezer.
Harvest all your potatoes by the end of September to avoid them being attacked by slugs. Lift them carefully with a fork and try to remove all spuds so you don’t get ‘volunteers’ – new plants growing in the wrong place – next year. Store undamaged potatoes in a dark, cool, frost-free place.
Carrots and onions
Carrots can be left in the ground until they’re needed – unless carrot flies are attacking them (look out for blackened tunnels on the surface, often containing black maggots).
Lift onions once the leaves have turned brown, and dry them in the sun. Don’t bend the tops over as it encourages rotting at the top of the onion.
Don’t throw away your chilli plants when they’ve finished fruiting – bring them indoors when the weather turns cooler. Place them on a sunny windowsill and look after them as you would house plants.
They’ll continue to flower and fruit – providing you with fresh chillies throughout the winter – and you can put them outside again next summer.
Care for tall veg and tender veg
Stake tall veg such as Brussels sprouts and kale.
If frost is forecast, harvest tender veg such as peppers courgettes and tomatoes.
Lift and divide congested rhubarb plants.
Pick berries. Blackberries, hybrid berries and autumn raspberries are ripe when the fruit is plump and juicy. Once harvested, cut down canes that have fruited to ground level.
Harvest apples and pears. Store in a cool, dark, slightly damp place such as a garage, cellar or fridge. Put varieties prone to shrivelling, such as ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’, in plastic bags with ventilation holes.