Its nearing the end of September and the nights are getting chilly. Its time to harvest the last of the tomatoes, basil, cucumbers and peppers if you haven’t already done so. Today I emptied the third bed of tomato plants. The tomato crop was a huge success this year but with the changes in the weather any fruit left on the vine now won’t mature. You can pick all fruit that is starting to turn colour and bring them in the kitchen to ripen on the counter. Sadly the Mama Leone tomato above that I was growing for the seed bank didn’t start to ripen until this week. It’s not a good tomato for our short season.
Many of my tomato plants had some white mould spots on the leaves, a sign from the rainy weather we had last week that the plants are done. You may have noticed a prolific amount of mushrooms in the lawn this week as well. The moist damp fall weather is mushroom heaven for growing. I hate to empty the raised beds but its time to plan for next year. Some beds are planted with fall crops but the ones being emptied will be topped off with soil, compost and leaf mulch.
Harvest what’s left of the basil and make some pesto to add to the freezer. I brought in a huge bunch of basil today. I will make some pesto and pop some basil into bags for the freezer. Frozen basil can be crumbled onto homemade pizza or in to sauces and soups. Cooking with homegrown food in the middle of winter is such a joy. I have a stack of meals put away from the harvests. From roasted tomatoes, tomato sauce and pesto, it will remind us of the garden each time we have a meal.
If you have any houseplants outside, bring them in before it gets too cold outside. You want the plants to come inside before the temperature difference is too vast between outside and in the home. I placed my Echeveria plants in the greenhouse for now but they will soon come inside the home. Remember to repot your indoor plants so you don’t bring unwanted pests in the home or greenhouse. This goes for plants like cannas as well. Canna tubers can be stored in peat moss much like you would do for Dahlias. It’s still too early to dig up the Dahlias as they will bloom until first frost. Leave them in the garden so you have bouquets of flowers to enjoy for another month.
Now is the time to plant your spring bulbs for a big show next year. I couldn’t resist buying more tulips and muscari. As you remove your annual bedding plants, use these planting areas for your spring bulbs. Plant your tulips 8″ deep to prevent critters digging them up. Look for the red and white tulips at your garden centers that are being sold to commemorate Canada’s 150th birthday. I am planting red and white tulips with blue muscari. I would love to replicate the display above which I saw at Roozengaarde display garden in Skagit Valley. It’s a show stopper in their garden.
More garden chores for September include:
Plant wallflowers for spring colour.
Plant sweet peas, poppies and cornflowers for early summer flowers.
Divide perennials and plant new ones.
Plant peonies this month.
Save seeds from your favourite flowers.
For more ideas on tulips and choices, check out my post It’s Time to Talk Tulips.