Jobs to do in September

Harvest time

Top tips

Harvesting top fruit such as apples and pears begins in earnest in September. Quince and medlars are also picked now. It's also a good time to order new fruit trees, canes and bushes.

Apple storage


Sowing and planting


  • Continue planting new strawberry beds.


  • Continue to sow vegetables for overwintering, to mature next spring, including: turnip, spinach, winter lettuce, Oriental vegetables.

  • Plant overwintering onion sets.

  • Spring cabbages that were sown last month are probably ready for planting out. Cover them with horticultural fleece or netting to stop the pigeons shredding them.

  • Sow green manures such as crimson clover and Italian ryegrass to act as a soil improver and to cover bare areas. When dug in, they conserve nutrients and improve soil texture.

Pruning and training


  • Finish tying in shoots on fan-trained trees.

  • Cut back old canes of blackberries and hybrid berries after fruiting and tie in the new canes.

  • Prune blackcurrants.

  • Spur prune kiwifruits after harvest.


  • Watch tomatoes for blossom end rot, and other ripening problems.

  • Be sure to clear debris created when lifting potatoes, and take care not to damage the tubers.

  • Control against bacterial canker at the end of the month.

  • Protect grapes from wasps.

General care


  • Harvest top fruit such as apples and pears. Look for fruit falling under the tree (windfalls) to indicate which apples are ready, but also assess taste and texture to determine whether they are ready for harvesting.

  • Begin harvesting quinces and medlars.

  • Finish tying in shoots on wall-trained trees.

  • Order cold stored strawberry runners for delivery in winter.

  • Order new fruit trees, canes and bushes.

  • Continue to provide support for heavily-laden fruit tree and bush branches.


  • When asparagus foliage turns brown, it is time to cut it down. Take care of the spines, and give the plants a good mulch afterwards.

  • Irregular watering can lead to problems with blossom end rot in tomatoes, splitting of root vegetables and flower abortion in runner beans. Help prevent this by watering well during dry spells.

  • Keep up too with watering winter squash and pumpkins - this will prevent their growth from being checked. Use stored rainwater wherever possible.

  • Celery can be earthed-up for the final time this month, leaving just a tuft of foliage sticking out of the trench or collar in order to blanch the stems.

Ready to harvest


  • Apples & pears

  • Quinces, medlars

  • Plums, damsons

  • Autumn raspberries

  • Perpetual strawberries

  • Grapes

  • Melons

  • Figs

  • Kiwifruit

  • Cranberries


  • Tomatoes

  • Salad crops

  • French & runner beans

  • Courgettes, cucumbers

  • Peppers

  • Sweetcorn

  • Onions & shallots

  • Marrows, pumpkins & squashes

  • Globe artichokes

Buy seeds & plants online

Get your seeds & seedlings directly from the RHS Plants Shop

Shop now  

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.