There are plenty of demands and shopping to do this month, and consequently not much time to spend on the plot; also daylight hours are short but the shortest day is 21 December so longer days on the horizon.
If you find yourself with some spare time there are a few jobs for you –
- Priority is Christmas veg, hopefully you all have plenty of tasty crops for your Christmas dinner – parsnips, sprouts, leeks and winter cabbage.
- Keep all your brassicas covered with netting to deter the hungry pigeons of Creigiau; also remove yellow leaves so that mould and mildew don’t take hold.
- Most of us have rhubarb crowns at the allotments, and now is a good time to divide them and maybe share them with someone who doesn’t have any, or maybe a different variety – it won’t be long until rhubarb crumble time, especially if you force a crown in early Spring.
- It’s a good time to hard prune shrubs and hedges whilst they are dormant, and then mulch after pruning.
- An indoor job – tidy the shed and clear out any rubbish, check over your tools and carry out any maintenance, oiling etc.
- Finally, don’t forget the wildlife; top up bird baths, keep topping up feeders and keep a couple of ‘untidy’ areas to enable hedgehogs to hibernate.
The clocks have turned back and we had our first couple of frosts, so I think it’s fair to say that Summer is over and Winter is on the way.
Hopefully you are all on top of tidying your plot – on my last visit to the allotment I think there were three bonfires on the go. There are still jobs to do, when the tidying is complete.
- Now that fruit bushes are dormant, it is a good time to take hardwood cuttings as well as prune the bushes into good shape.
- Check your Brussels sprout plants and see if they need additional support – if so, stake the plants and ‘heel in’ around the base for stability. Also a good idea to net them (and other brassicas) to avoid pigeon damage.
- Plant garlic, shallots and onion sets in well-drained soil.
- Lift any dahlia tubers and store in a frost free place over winter.
- Cut back perennials that are past their best, and give them a good mulch to help them through the winter.
- Keep raking up leaves and storing for leaf mould compost.
- Finally, if you ordered seeds from the Kings Seeds catalogue, they should be delivered later this month so you can plan ahead for next year.
On the social side, please don’t forget to support the Coffee Morning at Creigiau Church Hall on Saturday 24th November, 10.00am start. Fundraising for Bloodwise.
October is certainly starting in a blaze of glory – what lovely weather so make the most of it before the clocks go back at the end of the month.
- As you harvest your crops, clear as you go and add the plants to your compost heap, then go back and hoe off any weeds and tidy the plot.
- Now is a good time to rough dig the plot so that the winter weather can break down the soil overwinter; you can also dig in manure at the same time.
- Complete winter pruning of currant bushes and fruit trees, but leave autumn fruiting raspberries until early next year.
- Store your harvested fruit – it has been a good season for apples, and I have a good store of cooking apples, stores in a large tray and wrapped in newspaper so apple pies throughout the winter – yummy!
- If you have a greenhouse, it is a good time to give it a good clean inside and out – wash all the glass and have a good tidy up.
- Keep raking up leaves in the garden for leaf mould compost.
- Finally look through the Kings Seeds catalogue and remember to place you order before the end of the month (as early as possible please as I have to collate all the orders). Scroll down for links to the catalogue and order form.