Control vine weevils in pots at the beginning of September with nematodes. Check plants for pests like red spider mite, mealy bugs, scale insects, greenflies, and white flies.

Feed plants only a couple of times in September and stop feed on all plants mid-September except Christmas cactus or winter cyclamen.

Reduce watering to a minimum. It is necessary to gauge which plants need more or less water. Avoid splashing leaves or wetting floor as this can lead to grey mould disease.

Reduce ventilation by night to retain warmth. By day ventilate to allow air to change. On sunny days keep door open to reduce chances of grey mould disease. If you have used greenhouse paint wipe it off now to allow in a much light as possible.

If you did not cut off the top of tomato plant in August do so immediately. Pinch out all new shoots. Continue to take of trusses of tomatoes and any unwanted shoots. You can take off lower leaves to allow air circulation. Be sure not to take off too many leaves as the fruit ripens from the amount of light on leaves and not the amount of sun on the fruit. It is best to cut off very small green tomatoes in September as it is most unlikely they will ripen at this stage. This may seem hard to do but it will help the larger ones ripen.

In an earlier blog I said I would see how the one truss tomato versus six truss fared. In his book said they would be first to fruit, have better flavour and more nutrients. I grew two varieties, Gardeners Delight and Tigerella. The Gardeners Delight did fruit 2/3 weeks earlier on the one truss plants. It was great to have some earlier tomatoes. There’s nothing to beat the flavour of the first home-grown tomatoes after months of bland tomatoes from the supermarket. I cannot really say if the flavour was any better than the larger plants. I have no idea as regards nutrients. On the other hand the larger plants of Tigerella fruited weeks earlier than the one truss plants. I couldn’t figure this out at all. Maybe it’s worth experimenting another year. Certainly the one-truss plants take up much less space in the greenhouse and there is less work involved in pinching out.

Container of tomatoes and cucumbers

Chillies are related to tomatoes and need similar treatment. The plants are much smaller in size and bushy. I grew mine in deep pots this year and they did very well. When sowing tomato seeds next year sow some chilli seeds as well. The chillies ripen at much the same time as tomatoes. Pick the red ripe ones and dry on a tray out of direct sunlight. Those that do not ripen can be picked later and frozen on a tray and then put in a tub in the freezer and used as needed.

Grapes should be picked as soon as they ripen. Don’t let them get over ripe as the will rot. I will lift some parsley roots and pot up. I will remove the leaves and put in the greenhouse for nice fresh leaves later on.

Peas did well this year and am going to try growing early peas Feltham First in the greenhouse. Amaryllis can be planted up now. I will plant freesias corms in the soil to have flowers for spring and fragrance in the greenhouse.

I haven’t tried growing cauliflower yet but bought seed ‘All Year Round ‘, which I will put in small pots of garden soil and well decomposed compost. This month seeds could be planted in cell trays, 3 to a cell. Thin out to the best seedling. I will plant them out in April in good weather. The seeds can also be done early in the new year. Bring in tender potted plants by end of September.

Reward for the work earlier in the year pays off this month. As I write this the shallots are drying on the greenhouse staging. I will do the same with the onions and garlic when they are ready. The cucumbers have been doing very well and the plants look quite exotic.

Training them up a string has worked so much better than sprawled along the ground. Tomatoes, peppers and chillies are coming on nicely – and of course other vegetables from the garden. It is important to harvest before crops get over-ripe. Use or freeze as soon as they are they are ready. The tops of tomato plants should be taken out now and any unwanted trusses as they will not now reach maturity. This encourages the more advanced tomatoes to ripen. The lower leaves of the tomato and cucumber plants can be removed now to allow more light and air to circulate. It also reduces the risk of grey mould disease on the stems and fruit. Continue to water as needed depending on the weather. Don’t allow water to splash on leaves if possible. Ventilation is very important especially if the temperature soars. This month ease off on feeding.

Cucumbers growing in the greenhouse


I never had much success with basil until I got my greenhouse. I found it difficult to even keep basil bought in a supermarket alive. This year I propagated on a windowsill and once the plants got going I put the pots in the greenhouse. Later I planted them between the tomato plants in the ground, as I heard it gives the tomatoes extra flavour. I never had any basil to freeze until this year, but have much too much to use fresh, so will try freezing it.

I got a tip for basil recently from my brother-in-law. Pour cold tea on pot plants. I will try this next year, but as my basil is doing really well, I don’t want to tempt fate at this stage by changing tactics.
I will use chillies as needed and in late September or early October and dry them.

Coriander and salads can be planted in the greenhouse as space becomes available.

I am going to plant Brompton Stock seeds in the greenhouse to flower next spring and summer. They can be planted on a seed tray and the seedlings pricked out to small pots. Several plants can be potted into a larger pot. Pinch out the young shoots to make a bushy plant. The plants can be planted outdoors because Stock is a hardy plant. It would be important to take the young plants out of the greenhouse for a week or so during the day to harden them off before planting.

I will take cuttings of pelargoniums and fuchsia early August.