THE SECOND SPRING
Here’s our Garden Task List for September:
During the month
Weed and thin carrots and brassicas (kale to 12”).
Lettuce Factory: Sow hardy lettuce every 2 days till 21st, (3 rows/planting) then every 3 days. Sow #34-46 this month. Transplant 120 every 3-5 days (1/3 bed) #27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 for last outdoor planting (Dec harvest). Transplant #34, 35, 36 9/24-9/30 for frames
Root cellar: air and cool to 60°F by mid-September
Collect seed from Roma tomatoes if necessary.
Screen compost and fill old greenhouse beds before October, for winter lettuce and spring seed compost.
Early Sept: Prepare and plant new strawberry beds if not done in late August, using rooted potted runners or plants carefully thinned from last year’s beds (see August for details).
Transplant collards and kale if necessary. Transplant lettuce #27, 28, 29, 30.
Retrieve spinach and onion seeds from the freezer. After acclimating spinach seeds, sprout 4oz/bed (1 cup/10,000 seeds) for spinach #1 in fridge for one week, then direct sow (if <68°F, and dead nettle has germinated). If still hot, sow (preferably pre-sprouted) spinach in Speedling flats in float tank. 9/20 is last sowing date for fall harvesting. [Could broadcast oats into spinach at planting time for weed control & cold weather protection.]
Sow if not done already: kale and collards by 9/15; turnips by 9/30; radishes, kohlrabi, daikon and other winter radish, miscellaneous fall greens, scallions.
Plant large potato onions this month or early in October, at 8” (wider if supply limited). Cover with ½-1” soil, mulch with hay.
2nd fall disking: Watermelon plot when 800 have been harvested. Roll up drip tape first, or move to new strawberries.
Mid Sept: 7-14 Sept is the best time to sow vetch & rye, 1:2, 2# of mix/1000 sq ft (75#/acre) on old spring broccoli patch; crimson clover and rye, 1:2, at 55#/acre.
Transplant lettuce #31, 32.
Sow 1st sowing of hoophouse seedlings (hoop and cover).
Bring 6 tractor buckets compost to hoophouse for fertilizing fall and winter crops.
Move stored onions from basement to fridge, after apples peak in mid-September, and space available.
3rd fall disking: corn #3, #4, #5. Part of corn #3 plot may be used for new strawberry beds.
Late Sept: Sow spinach #2 for spring harvesting (9/20-9/30), and 2nd sowing of hoophouse seedlings and cover.
Transplant kale for spring, filling gaps; lettuce #33, finishing up the last outdoor bed; [#34, 35 & 36 in cold frames?] Plant large potato onions (>2”) if not done earlier.
Move garlic from basement to fridge late September-late Oct as needed to make room for winter squash.
Weeding: this is a good catch up time on weeding in the raised beds.
4th fall disking and seeding: Sow cover crops wherever possible (in unused raised beds too). The last chance for oats is early Sept (9/15??). Can sow winter wheat (winter-killed in zone 4) or winter barley (dies in zone 6) if oat planting date missed. (Oats winter-kill in zone 8). Can sow hardy Austrian winter peas in late Sept at 8oz/100sq.ft. with rye. Can sow red clover this month.
Bush-hog late corn if undersown with oats and soy cover crop.
Perennials: New strawberry beds: Prepare and plant by mid-September if not done in late August. Weed strawberries. Could till up grass in grape alley & sow clover if not done in March. If clover sown earlier, let it seed.
Harvest and store winter squash: Acorn (pepo) types (stem still green, ground spot “earthy” or orange), store 1-4 months; Maximas: Cha Cha, Jarrahdale, Kabocha (stem 75% corky) store 3-5 months; Moschatas: Butternuts, Cheese (peanut colored skin, no mottling or streaks) store 4-8 months, or more. Leave on live vines as long as possible, avoiding frost on fruits. Cut leaving long stem using pruners; handle gently.
September Harvests: Asian melons, asparagus beans, beans, beets and beet greens, broccoli, cabbage, cantaloupes, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, Chinese cabbage, corn, cow peas, cukes, edamame, eggplant, horseradish,leeks, lettuce, limas, maruba santoh, okra, pak choy, peppers, hot peppers,radishes, Romas, scallions, senposai, summer squash, Tokyo bekana, tomatoes, turnips, watermelons, winter squash, yukina savoy, zucchini. It is possible to lightly harvest rhubarb during September, if wanted.