What's in season: September

Close view of a tree laden with ripening damsons at Hill House Farm on the Brockhampton EstateClose view of a tree laden with ripening damsons at Hill House Farm on the Brockhampton Estate
Damsons are typically used to make preserves in autumn National Trust Images / Paul Harris

The approach of autumn sees the peak of our harvest. Historically, this time of year has been central to the UK's rural calendar, and many areas still celebrate with a traditional harvest festival.

September is a month of mellow fruitfulness. Leaves begin to turn and drop off the trees, apples are ripe for the picking along with many other fruits, perfect for crumbles and pies.

This month we're talking about damsons

  • First introduced to these shores by the Romans, damsons were not only eaten by our ancestors, but also used to produce purple dye.
  • The damson is mostly used as an ingredient for preserves, rather than being munched directly from the tree.

Also in season

There's so much fresh food available this month, such as:
Bramley apples, runner beans, blackberries, blueberries, Brussels sprouts, spring green cabbage, white cabbage, savoy cabbage, red cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, courgette, cucumber, kale, leeks, iceberg lettuce, marrow, peas, plums, spinach, squash and sweetcorn.

Jobs for the garden

Keep on picking and enjoying your beans, cucumbers and courgettes. It's also time to dig up those potatoes, carrots, beetroots and turnips.
Once the foliage has died, unearth your onions and add them to your harvested pile of goodies. Finally, don't despair about your unripe tomatoes - simply pick them and pop them in a brown bag to ripen on their own.