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This month in the garden - 2020

September in the garden

September always feels like a fresh start. With the days cooling down we will hopefully be welcoming some rain and we can start to make the change from a summer garden to winter growing. Many of the summer crops will still be fruiting; aubergines can be given a feed to encourage production. Tomatoes can be fed too and all the straggly brown and yellow leaves can be pruned off. Chillies and peppers will be happy enough. Select your best plants to overwinter. They can be pruned back to two thirds of the plant later, when they have stopped fruiting. Sweet potatoes will carry on growing till next month. Pumpkins can be harvested and stored as can drying beans. Pinch out the flowering tops of basil for as long as you can manage, then leave them to flower so you can collect some seeds for next year. With so much still growing, it might be hard to find the space to start the winter veg. Clear out any summer crops that are spent, such as sweet corn and melons and prepare the ground for planting. It's a good idea to dig out as many perennial grass roots as you can. You won't notice them over the winter but next summer they will be back with a vengeance. Add manure or compost and consider growing green manures to over winter in beds that aren't going to used until the spring.

All those brassica seedlings that you have been bringing on for the last few weeks should be ready to go in the ground this month. Make sure they get plenty of water if the temperatures are still high;. allowing them to get too dry in the early stages of growth can stunt them. Coriander can be direct sown now along with rocket, mustards, mizuna and pak choi, parsley, spinach and chard. Lettuces can be either direct sown or sown in seed trays. Direct sow beetroot, radish, carrots, turnip and parsnips.

It's never a bad time to start a new garden but September is a particularly good time. The conditions are so much easier than in summer. The weather is cooler, the weeds grow more slowly and winter crops don't need supports. The rain does the watering for you. We have tough times ahead of us. Whether you believe corona is a genuine pandemic or a sinister plandemic, whether you believe obligatory mask wearing is a tool of protection or oppression, there is one thing that unites us all. We all have to eat (freshairians aside). The economic recession now under way due to the response to Covid 19 may herald the end of global capitalism. Many people are already suffering individual economc hardship and if the economy crashes completely should we really be that surprised? The conversation about the end of capitalism has been going on for at least two decades. While we have been talking about peak oil, global warming, deforestation and population growth have we also been thinking about what will replace capitalism? It's tempting to try to save it, to return to the comfort of what we know rather than look into the unknown. Do we really want to save an economic system that rewards individuals such as Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos with billions in personal wealth while simultaneously, according to the World Economic Forum, nine million people die from hunger every year? Can we imagine a different world? Can we build a better future? There has never been a more opportune time to start growing food and to support each other in building a resilient community. THE REVOLUTION IS IN THE GARDEN.

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