Early September in the Kitchen Garden

Golightly Gardens has been producing lots of food over the last six weeks, and hopefully most of the current crops will be going strong until October.

We still have lots of cherry and plum tomatoes on the go (luckily no blight round here this year), along with cucumbers, courgettes, French and runner beans, chicory, spring onions, mizuna, rocket and cabbages, and plenty more. The mini greenhouse is home to some very happy cayenne and Hungarian hot wax chillies and Traffic Light sweet peppers, and some Thai lemongrass grown from seed.

Although there’s still a lot to come from what’s already been planted, I’ve found myself looking at this month as the last window for getting some key sowing and planting done. It includes:

  • Last sequential sowings of rocket, lettuce, ┬áradishes etc
  • Autumn sowings such as Spring cabbage, oriental greens, winter varieties of carrot
  • Winter-hardy salad and things that might be happy growing in the greenhouse

Since I can’t grow spinach and chard outside thanks to virulent local leaf miner infestations, the indoor windowsill has come to my rescue. There’s baby leaf spinach, rainbow chard and leaf beet growing away happily indoors, along with more tomatoes, dwarf beans, chives, parsley, basil and American land cress. Once the tomatoes have finished for the year, there will be room for lots more microgreens on the windowsill, and the chillies from the greenhouse can come in for the winter too.

I’ve also cleared the gone-over sweetcorn, added new compost and planted out a couple of small purple sprouting broccoli plants in their place. Again, not the most efficient use of space in a small garden, but it’s one of my favourite veggies and tastes best freshly cut. They should grow away quietly over the winter and give a crop in March or April, hopefully.

It’s also the start of the season for planting next year’s fruit bushes and trees, and I’m looking into the tastiest and most cost-effective options at the moment, along with non-edible plants to sow as ‘green manures’ to revive and protect the compost in some of my larger containers when they become vacant in October.

There hasn’t been a glut of anything yet, but I suspect that if we’re in for weeks of rainy, unsettled weather then there’ll be lots of green tomatoes left at the end of September. If that happens, I might get a little W.I. on you and make some spicy green tomato chutney. I draw the line at jam, but chillies and onions and a bunch of spice are right up my street… Does anybody have any nice recipes?

How’s your garden growing? Are you growing any food outdoors, in pots or on a windowsill?

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