September kitchen garden to-dos

Let's just for a moment pretend that it is September 1st and get these kitchen garden to-dos all written up... they have been sitting in a note on my phone for a few weeks, and I've been adding little bits of information when I stumble across them (Gardening Australia magazine, a book, a memory of last year, advice from a friend...).

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Instead of trying to reinvent my planting plan every year, I thought I might use this little slice of blogland to keep track of what I need to do, so that I can refer back, revise what has worked and what hasn't, and update it every year.

Some notes:

  • We are in the cool mountain region of Australia. My best guess is that this equates to roughly hardiness zone 8a in the US. If you are in Sydney or Melbourne or in a zone around 11ish in the US, you can probably consider these your July or August to-dos for next year. If you are anywhere else, adjust accordingly, or consult much more knowledgeable people than I!!!
  • Sowing "under cover" for me means having a whole lot of seedlings in various containers behind the couch in the living room window. My first lot of seedlings this year are in lovely little coir pots, but to be honest I think that I prefer the (far less pretty) plastic seedling trays that you can fit a plastic top over. Those ones end up almost self-watering, as the evaporation condenses and re-wets the plant. I have plenty of the seedling trays in the shed, so my next round of plantings will go in those.
  • Also it is worth noting that these are specific to what we have decided to plant, and the chores we have to do in the Coopermarket. There are loads of other veges that can be planted in September, but until I find a use for burdock (or find out what it is), we will stick to these ones.

So, without further fussing, the September to-dos.

Asparagus:

sow seeds under cover; fill new ground bed and protect from chooks to plant out the seedlings into permanently (we have missed the boat to move our 4-year old asparagus crowns and still get them cropping this year, so we will now do that next year in early August)

Basil:

sow under cover; succession sow directly into bed every month

Beans:

sow under cover (one crop, no succession plantings)

Beetroot:

sow directly into beds; succession sow every month

Broad beans:

sow directly into bed; build bamboo support cages; succession sow crop reaches 5cm high and continue until end of November

Brussel sprouts:

sow directly into bed; thin seedings to only one or two plants as we don't want to waste space on a vege that we are not confident we will actually eat!

Carrots:

broadcast sow directly into bed; succession sow once a month until mid-summer

Chilli:

sow under cover and plant out after risk of last frost has passed (one crop, no succession plantings)

Chives:

sow directly into bed; succession sow every month

Cucumbers:

sow under cover; succession sow a second crop directly into beds in November

Eggplant:

sow under cover and plant out after risk of last frost has passed (one crop, no succession plantings)

Globe artichokes:

sow under cover (plant out after last frost when seedlings are around 15cm); find a spot in the permanent perennial beds

Jerusalem artichokes:

plant directly into bed from tubers (one crop, no succession plantings)

Leek:

sow under cover; succession sow directly into beds once a month

Lettuce:

sow directly into bed; succession sow once a month

Mint:

sow under cover; find a new pot to plant seedlings into as the old one cracked last year

Mustard:

sow under cover for first early crop (this is one of our favourites, so we like an early spring crop) and sow directly into beds for a quick second crop; succession sow once a month

Onions and shallots:

sow directly into bed (no succession plantings)

Pak choi:

sow directly into beds; succession sow once a month; collect seeds from current crop for resowing

Peas/snow peas:

sow directly into bed; build bamboo support teepees; succession sow in January and March

Potatoes:

start planting first earlier at the end of September (just a small crop); second earlier go in October; main crop in November

Radish:

sow directly into beds; succession sow once a month

Rocket:

sow under cover for first early crop (another favourite for us, hence the early start) and sow directly into beds for a quick second crop; succession sow once a month

Rockmelon:

sow under cover to plant out after risk of last frost (one crop, no succession plantings)

Silverbeet/chard:

sow directly into perennial beds (chard is a semi-perennial); succession sow every few months until the crop size is adequate

Spinach:

sow directly into beds; succession sow once a month

Spring onions:

sow directly into bed; succession plant once a month

Thyme:

sow under cover; succession sow directly into bed every month

Watermelon:

sow under cover (one crop, no succession plantings); construct and fill a new ground bed for the seedlings 

That's it for September. There are lots more things to do around the garden, and I am sure that I won't get to all of the above either, but it's nice to have a plan!

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