September Garden in the Northern Hemisphere

Fig harvest


September is the ninth month of the year these days, but under the old Roman calendar, September was the seventh month. The Latin word for “seven” is septem.

The autumnal equinox will arrive on September 22 this year in the northern half of the world, summer will end and autumn will begin.

September is one of the warmest months of the year particularly in the southern regions. In the northern regions, the days can be hot, but the nights will become increasingly cool.

The Greeks honored Demeter during this month, and the Romans honored Ceres, goddesses of agriculture.

Harvest festivals and feasts come in September to celebrate the end of harvest.

In the garden this month, plant cool season crops that will endure frost: beets, carrots, Swiss chard, head and leaf lettuce, mustard, onion seeds and sets, radish, turnips, and kale.

If late sowings of vegetables do not seem to be growing as quickly as they should in order to be ready for harvesting before frost, give them a side-dressing of compost tea or liquid manure.

Dig compost into the soil wherever the last crops have come out.

After asparagus stalks have turned yellow, cut them off at the ground level and apply a cover of well-rotted manure.

If you have a coldframe with well-prepared soil, you can sow seeds of lettuce, parsley, radishes and carrots for crops during the fall and winter. Transplant young kale and lettuce plants to the frame for use in late fall and early winter. Keep the frame well ventilated on warm days. You will appreciate having such fresh vegetables along about Thanksgiving time.

Bring in the last of your tomatoes before frost, plant, fruit and all. Hang the plants upside-down in a cool cellar or attic, where the fruit will ripen and be usable well into fall.

Collards, Brussels sprouts, and kale are better eating after the first frost. Strip lower leaves of Brussels sprouts to encourage the sprouts to develop.

Vegetables ready for harvest in September include beans, carrot, chilies, Chinese cabbage, corn, cucumber, eggplant, kale, lettuce, melons, okra, peas, pumpkins, purslane, rutabaga (Swede), summer squash, tomato, turnips, and zucchini.

Fruits ready for harvest in September include almonds, apples, avocadoes, brambleberries, grapes, kumquat, figs, hazelnuts (filberts), lemons, melons, mulberries, nectarines, olives, oranges, passionfruit, peaches, pears, pecans, plums, raspberries, strawberries, and tamarilloes.

Here is a planting schedule by region for September:

Cooler northern regions–Zones 3-6: Vegetables: broad beans, buckwheat, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, cress, leek, lettuce, onion, radish, spinach, spring onion, strawberry runners, turnip. Herbs: caraway, chervil, chicory, parsley, salad burnet.

Temperate Regions–Zones 7-9: Vegetables: artichoke suckers, broad beans, beet (beetroot), buckwheat, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, cress, eggplant, endive, kohlrabi, leek, lettuce, mustard, onion, spring onion, peas, radish, rhubarb crown, Swiss chard (silverbeet), strawberry runners, rutabaga (Swede), turnip. Herbs: angelica, caraway, chervil, chicory, coriander, dill, hyssop, lemon balm, marjoram, oregano, parsley, salad burnet, thyme.

Subtropical and Tropical Regions–Zones 10-12: Vegetables: artichoke suckers, beans, beet (beetroot), broccoli, cabbage, cape gooseberry, cress, cucumber, endive, eggplant, kohlrabi, leek, lettuce, marrow, mustard, onion, spring onion, parsnip, peas, potato tubers, radish, rhubarb crowns, Swiss chard (silverbeet), rutabaga (Swede), tomato, turnip. Herbs: angelica, basil, borage, caraway, celeriac, chicory, chives, coriander, fennel, hyssop, marjoram, salad, burnet.

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

How To Grow Tips

How To Grow Tomatoes

How To Grow Peppers

How To Grow Broccoli

How To Grow Carrots

How To Grow Beans

How To Grow Corn

How To Grow Peas

How To Grow Lettuce

How To Grow Cucumbers

How To Grow Zucchini and Summer Squash

How To Grow Onions

How To Grow Potatoes

September Garden in the Southern Hemisphere

Cucumber harvest

Regional Garden Tips for September