September in the garden – by organic gardener Sol Morgan

Early potatoes popping through soil in September

Blossoms herald the shift into spring and the beginning of the main growing season. 

Garden bed preparation

A busy time for the keen gardener, as bed preparation tops the list in the vegetable garden. Go over beds with a fork, weeding dock, buttercup and couch especially, followed by addition of organic material, depending on the crop going in. Light feeders like beans and peas only need a little compost and minerals, especially lime or dolomite. Heavy feeders who produce flowers or fruit, such as Brassicas and pumpkins, want a lot of compost or rotted manure to grow strong and healthy, along with minerals.

Prepare carrot beds with consecutive hoeings to ‘flush’ any weeds before sowing.

Cloching aids soil warming and helps young plants get established. Main planting time for onions and early potatoes.

Staking for beans and peas

Broad beans sown in autumn will need staking. As will beds planned for climbing beans or peas, either set up as a tent or in tipi fashion. Bamboo works well leaving branch stubs for tendrils to attach to.

Orchard care

The orchard will enjoy a seaweed spray after blossoming. Sow understorey mixes (see Kings Seeds) to attract beneficial insects. Transplant comfrey root around drip line for soil and tree health. Start citrus pruning and mulch all subtropicals well.

Sol Morgan, GroWise Consultancy in edible landscapes, advice, property design and development plans, fruit pruning, soil testing and garden mentoring. Phone: 027 514 9112 or email

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