September is harvest time, but it’s also time to plan ahead and start sowing the vegetables that will provide valuable winter harvests and earlier spring and summer pickings.
In autumn the soil is still warm, so seeds will germinate quickly. If the weather is still fine, the growing season can continue for several weeks.
Here are some veg seeds to sow in September.
Spring cabbages and spinach can be sown now for pickings next spring. You will need to cover the spinach with fleece from October onwards.
Spring cabbages ready to harvest
There’s still time to sow salad crops to harvest in the coming months. Sow in a sheltered spot outdoors, or grow in pots. Try mustard leaf, winter salad mixes, mizuna or mibuna. Winter lettuces such as ‘Winter Density’ can be sown under glass. Discover winter salads to grow.
Deep-purple salad leaves
Broad beans and peas
Sowing in autumn means plants can establish over the winter and crop earlier next spring. Broad beans and peas are hardy, but it’s advisable to cover plants with fleece during hard frosts or snow. Try broad bean ‘Aquadulce Claudia’ or pea ‘Feltham First’.
Flowering broad bean plants
Radishes mature in a mature of weeks, so it’s worth a late batch of seeds now in order to eat summery salads into autumn.
A row of radishes ready to harvest
Turnips are another fast-growing crop that can be sown on bare soil in September – they love cool, moist conditions. Harvest as golf-ball sized, baby veg in around six weeks.
A bunch of freshly-picked turnips
Onions, shallots and garlic
Planting your onion sets in the autumn means you will enjoy earlier crops next year; choose a variety that’s ideal for autumn sowing, such as ‘Troy’ or ‘Radar’. Garlic can be sown any time between now and spring. Find out how to grow onions, shallots and garlic.
Sowing a set of onions in a row marked by a cane