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.
Browse our list of vegetables you can sow in September, below.
Spring cabbages and spinach can be sown now for pickings next spring. You will need to cover the spinach with fleece from October onwards.
There’s still time to sow salad crops to harvest in the coming weeks. 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.
Broad beans and peas
Sowing broad beans in autumn means plants can establish over 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’.
Radishes mature in just a couple of weeks, so it’s worth sowing a late batch of seeds now, for a late crop.
Turnips are another fast-growing crop that can be sown on bare soil in September – they do best in cool, moist conditions. Harvest as golf-ball sized, baby veg in around six weeks. Perfect for the Christmas table.
Onions, shallots and garlic
Planting onion sets in autumn means you will get an earlier crop 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.