So, June was cold, July was boiling hot and August was, for many, a washout. I wonder what September has in store. Certainly, we could do with some sunshine and warmth to ripen those tomatoes, chillies and peppers! Judging by feedback received from customers, I’m not the only one with an abundance of green fruits. However, the experts here at Dobies assure me that all is not lost, they may be late but, with an improvement in the weather, those trusses ladened with green tomatoes will come good. Phew.
We hope you’ve enjoyed browsing and ordering from our Bulb catalogue. Packed not only with spring flowering bulbs but also winter bedding, perennials and vegetable plants. If you haven’t got around to placing your order yet, then don’t worry. We may have sold out of some of items but there’s still plenty left, both for ordering and for planting.
Jobs to Do in September
- Give your greenhouse a good clean, inside and out and remove any shading. Over the coming months your plants will need the maximum amount of light.
- Now is the time to start moving houseplants back indoors. They’ll have enjoyed being outside during the summer but as the nights start to cool down, they need to come in. First check the posts for pests, unless you want slugs and snails leaving glistening trails across your floors!
- Onion sets, Shallots and Garlic can all be planted from now until mid-November See below for some guidance.
- Lift your main crop potatoes and carrots, taking care not to slice or damage them. Don’t leave any tiny potatoes behind as they may harbour disease for next year.
- Continue to harvest tomatoes, chillies, peppers, aubergines and beans. Now is the time for making pickles and chutneys. Or perhaps dry them in the oven and store in oil?
- On a warm dry day harvest some herbs, such as mint, thyme and oregano and hang them indoors to dry for winter cooking
From Plot to Plate
Runner beans are the number one bean for most gardeners. Easy to grow and with attractive flowers they can hold their own at the back of any flower border, not needing to be confined to the veggie plot.
Dwarf French beans must come in a very close second. Just as easy to grow and requiring less space (not just vertically!) given plenty of feed they can crop from June through to the end of September. Well worth the price of a packet of seed!
Another benefit to French beans is that they don’t get stringy and so just need a quick top and tail. Simply steam or boil your beans, drain, add a mix of butter and olive oil plus seasoning and serve. Or forget the buttery oil and mix with oven roasted cherry tomatoes, crushed garlic and basil.
French beans are also perfect as a salad. Boil or steam them lightly, refresh them in cold water and then, whilst still slightly warm, apply your salad dressing of choice.
Beans have many friends but work particularly well with:
Onions Garlic Shallots Tomatoes Black olives
Capers Chilli Tarragon Basil Sage
Oregano Pancetta Lemon Lime Pasta
Early September is a good time for final outdoor sowings of leafy green veg such as spinach, rocket and winter lettuce. Sow Leaf Salad Winter Mix in succession on a windowsill and you’ll still be picking leaves when the ground outside is frozen.
If you don’t plan to grow any winter veg (really?) then give your soil a boost by sowing some green manure. Green Manure Winter Mix will act as a nitrogen fixer and lifter and will both loosen and aerate your soil. One pack will cover 10² and at just £1.99 must be one of the cheapest ways of improving your soil.
Summer Long Strawberries
Last Chance to Buy… Summer Long Strawberry Plants Collection
Our Summer Long Strawberry Collection has been a massive hit again this year. Not only have customers had a steady stream of delicious strawberries over the summer, their plants will also fruit into September and will continue to do so as long as the weather remains fair.
We still have a limited number of Collections available at the fantastic price of £14 for 12 x 9cm potted plants. Enjoy their fruits throughout September and then protect over the winter months to benefit from stronger, well developed plants and even bigger crops next year!
Don’t forget to protect your Strawberry Plants over winter
Looking to protect your Strawberry Plants over the winter? Take advantage of our Half Price and 3 For 2 Offer on Polythene Tunnels. Easy to erect and simple to store in spring, they are fantastic value for money!
Tips for Planting Spring Bulbs
The standard rule it to plant your bulbs at least twice as deep as their height. So, a 5cm bulb will do best planted at a depth of at least 10cm. The exception being tulip bulbs but we’re getting ahead of ourselves as tulips don’t like to be planted until November.
Plant your bulbs in plastic pots that will in turn fit inside your larger, more attractive containers. Then, when they’ve finished flowering, they can be lifted out, leaving the container ready for summer planting and popped in a corner somewhere to dieback naturally.
When planting in deep containers, try layering your bulbs to create to bulb lasagne. Start with a layer of compost and then space out the largest bulbs, add another layer of compost and then the next sized bulbs. Repeat until you have the placed the smallest bulbs at the top and covered with a layer of compost. Even just 2 layers will give good flowering impact.
Bulbs don’t like to have damp bottoms (does anyone?) so make sure pots and containers have plenty of drainage holes.
Planting Direct in the Garden
When planting direct go for a natural look as opposed to uniform rows. The best way of achieving this is to gently roll a handful of bulbs over the soil and plant where they land. Choose a well-drained spot where the soil is rich with hummus.
Make planting easy and invest in a bulb planting tool. Both long and short handled versions are available. A bonus being that the correct planting depths are clearly marked.
If planting in a lawn remember that bulb foliage needs to be left to die down naturally. This will delay your lawn mowing activity so perhaps choose a spot where a clump of longer grass mixed with dying bulb foliage won’t look too bad. Alternatively, go ahead and mow, replacing the bulbs in the autumn.
Allowing bulbs to self-seed beneath trees and amongst shrubs means they will naturalise into drifts of stunning colour. Choose from cyclamen, snowdrops, crocus, anemone, fritillaria and daffodil.
To avoid digging the bulbs up by accident or worse, spearing them with a fork, do mark where they are planted.
Offer Of The Month:
270 Extra Value Plugs for £19.99 – Less Than 8p Per Plug Plant!
Create beds, borders and pots full of colour with a selection of some of our favourite winter bedding plants. These Extra Value Plug Plants are delivered at the perfect time to pot up and grow indoors or under cover for the first few weeks, so they’re well established before winter and will put on your best ever show!
Please note: Image for illustration purposes only.