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Vegetable Gardening Hints, Issue #009 -- Your September to do list and more.
September 06, 2008

This month is the transition between summer and fall. It is getting cooler however many of your vegetable crops will be reaching maturity soon. Harvest them when they are ripe and use right-a-way for best flavor. Use your fresh lettuce and tomatoes in school lunches for a healthy choice.


  • Continue sowing your winter vegetables.
    Lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, kale can all still be planted for harvesting during the late fall and winter months if you live in frost free climate or have a greenhouse. Now is the time to thin any plants you sowed in August.

  • Keep harvesting.
    Harvest when your veggies are ripe. Eat, can or freeze them as soon as you can. Check my tips for storing your veggies.

  • Keep composting.
    If you started a compost last winter or spring it is probably ready to use. Put it on your empty garden beds. If you have not composted before or starting a new pile keep adding in your garden and kitchen waste. For the best compost make sure you keep the proportion of green and brown matter fairly equal. Learn more about making compost .

  • Saving seeds.
    Check your vegetable garden for ripe seeds. If you marked certain plants now is the time to harvest the seeds. You want to collect seeds in dry weather. Collect the seeds by shaking the plant so the seeds fall into a clean brown paper bag or container. To clean remove the chaff from around the seed and blow away the fine pieces. Clearly label and store the seeds in a brown paper bag in a cool place.

  • Clean up your tomatoes.
    Pull up your tomato plants by the end of the month. Any unripened fruit will ripen better indoors once the temperature starts to get colder. Keep the unripened fruit on a sunny window sill or if you have an abundance wrap them individually in newspaper, and lay them in a shallow box. Make sure you check them regularly and remove any moldy ones.



    Here are my tips for growing great onions:

    • Onion sets are easier to grow than from the seed. Sets are usually purchased early in the spring and you harvest the bulbs in the fall. Sets are baby bulbs that are produced the previous growing season
    • Onions can be grown from seed, however they need to be started indoors very late winter or every early in the spring and transplanted out in May.
    • Onions like fairly loose rich soil. It is always good to enrich your soil with compost and high nitrogen fertilizer when growing this vegetable.
    • Keep the beds well weeded and water well when the leaves are forming. Size does matter, the taller the leaves the larger the bulb will be.
    • The leaves of the onion stops growing when the days reach a certain length. In Canada is this around the first of July. Once leaves stop growing the bulbs start forming. July is a great time to fertilize your onion plants.

    Well hopefully you did all the above, if not there is always next season. If you have any onions in your garden now is the month to harvest them.

    • Harvest your onions once the tops have turned brown and the outer skin on the onion has dried.
    • It is best to harvest your onions in dry weather.
    • Store them in a cool dry place or hang them in a mesh bag.

    Enjoy your bountiful harvest, make delicious meals with veggies from your garden and take time to relax by listening to the music on Sanctuary .

    Check in with for the simplest steps to having your own vegetables. I have several helpful ebooks that will provide you with easy to follow tips to have an even more successful vegetable garden next season, check them out.

    Coming next month - you will have an opportunity to purchase my 2009 Vegetable Garden Journal. This journal has a wealth of information to keep your garden healthy and you organized. Keep and eye out for it.

    Please contact me with your comments and suggestions.

    If you have enjoyed this ezine please tell a friend.

    Welcome to the world of vegetable gardening!


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