No garden update yet, but I wanted to share with you, what you can sow now. Just a short practical post as most of us (myself included) are packing up our garden and harvesting whatever can be harvested from our spring sowings, but we forget to sow new things!? Right? A pity, because there are tons of things that you can sow in autumnal September. Crops that you will be able to enjoy in winter. I hope this post will help you in preparing a productive winter garden.

Organising seeds

I don’t know how you get to optimal productivity? I need co clear and clean out things to get moving. In this case I cleared out my seeds. Organised them again in their drawers. This gave me a better idea of the things that I already have, things that I bought this year and it also made it very clear that I don’t need more seeds for upcoming year, or the upcoming 100 years.

Last year I organised my seeds per month, that turned out to be practical, but not perfect. The things that had to be sowed successionally, either slipped away in the system or made a mess out of things. This year I’m using the same drawers, but I’m organising things per crop-type. For example, I have a drawer for tomatoes/peppers/eggplants/artichokes/etc and then a drawer for all kinds of brassicas and so on. Sometimes these drawers can be sown all in the same period, like the tomato-drawer. In other cases seeds in the same drawer can and/or have to be sown in different/multiple periods.
What I will do, is create my sowing calendar on paper (or digitally) and take the seeds out of their catalogued drawers when it’s time to sow them. Last year my drawers were both my catalogue and calendar, that was too complicated and created chaos at the end of spring. We’ll see how this new method works. I’ll report back!

What to sow in autumnal September

Before I sum up a long list of things you can grow now, be aware that some crops have certain varieties that are meant to be sown in autumn and varieties that you should have sown in spring. Cauliflowers, carrots, peas and so on, are some of these crops. So when you see a crop in the list below, make sure you choose a variety that should be sown this time of year.

A second thing that I want to mention before you dive into the list, is that I’m sowing some things to harvest as mini vegetables. I’m aware that some crops won’t reach full size before frost jumps in, but that’s ok. Mini veggies are as tasty as their grown-up version. The kale that I will sow now, is one of the examples of vegetables that won’t reach maturity before it gets harvested.

Lastly, temperature wise, be aware that I’m living somewhere south-ish in Europe (but on- and in between shading mountains), so if you are in Norway for example, you will probably have different things on your sowing list. Same goes for people who live in Portugal obviously. I will also use row covers to stretch my growing season this year. Therefore you might be surprised by some veggies shown on this list. Feel free to share your autumnal sowing experiences though. I would love to learn from other people who grow in a moderate European temperature!

September sowing list:

  • asian greens
  • beetroot
  • carrots
  • cauliflower
  • chard
  • endive
  • fennel
  • kale
  • kohlrabi
  • lettuce
  • mache
  • onions
  • parsley
  • peas
  • radish
  • rocket
  • rutabaga
  • spinach
  • green manure

What? Green manure? Yes, if you have empty beds in your garden, and don’t plan to sow anything there, then it’s best to fill the bed now with green manure seeds. You can think about mustard, buckwheat, peas, broad beans etc. Depending on what has grown on your bed before and what you want to grow there next year, you choose the type of green manure that you will sow now to fill up the bed. You will keep weed seeds suppressed with this method and you will heal or feed the bed at the same time.

Sowing method

I have noticed that the seeds that I’m sowing now are under heavy attack of wildlife. Birds are getting cheeky this time of year and love to dig around in beds to eat up all your seeds (and worms). At the same time slugs seem to make a come back, now that the soil is getting wetter. Therefore I’ve decided to pre-sow my seeds with my soil blockers. I have had great success with all the crops that I sowed in my soil blocks in spring, so hopefully the autumn sowing with profit from this sowing method as well. As soon as I plant the tiny sprouted veggies out, I will create row covers and slug traps.

That’s everything I wanted to share with you in this post. I hope my write-up of my method will help you on your way in September. Don’t wait too long though, start sowing as soon as you can, the weather seems to change really quickly. So the window of opportunity seems to be small this year!