So December has started off with a cold spell and hard frosts – the upside is that the days are lovely, blue skies, bright sunshine – great time to dress up warm and go for a good walk and enjoy the season.
I guess we will all be harvesting lots of veg this month for our Christmas dinner – sprouts, winter cabbage, parsnips and leeks – can’t wait, nothing tastes as good as home grown.
There aren’t too many tasks on the plot; you can still prune your fruit trees and currant bushes and get them into good shape for next year; also you can divide (and share) rhubarb crowns, giving the crowns a good mulch with manure when re-planted. Net any brassicas still standing on the plot to keep off pigeons. Bare root fruit trees and bushes can still be planted before the ground gets too frozen and hard.
If you haven’t planned next year’s crops, sit down with a mince pie or two and think about what you are going to grow, where and how many rows etc. Also think about any improvements to your plot, such as edging the beds, adding a shed, water butt etc.
Finally, think about our New Year Social on 11th January and let me know if you are joining us as numbers need to be confirmed before Christmas.
Please click below for the online turning pages version of Issue 4 of the Allotment magazine – happy reading!
The Autumn weather has been kind to us so far – some bright sunny days and only a few chilly nights, but with the clocks going back and darker evenings there is less opportunity to get out on the plot or into the garden. So take advantage of these dry days and get on with some of the following jobs –
Keep raking those leaves – can’t believe that in October tasks I actually said that I enjoyed this; well maybe the first couple of times it was fun but it seems that every day produces another couple of bags to be raked and shredded!
Lovely Autumn colour, but those leaves will need raking up soon …
It is a good opportunity to clear all the rubbish from your plot, dig over the ground and prepare for next Spring’s planting; incorporate some good farmyard or horse manure so that it can rot down over the winter.
I have been busy working on the flower beds at home – clearing all the old annuals, and cutting down/splitting/moving perennials, and of course lifting the dahlia tubers. It is a good time to re-arrange planting schemes for a refresh next year.
The Kings Seeds order has now been finalised, but if you missed out there are plenty of other seed catalogues dropping through the postbox for you to browse and place an order.
The weather was dry and warm this weekend, so a reasonable turnout for our Autumn action weekend and clear-up. Thanks to everyone who came along and helped out; there was plenty of clearing, and a bonfire on both days (but sadly no sausages!).
There was also a lot of mowing and strimming – thanks to John for bringing along his new ‘toy’.
It wasn’t all work though, there was ‘time off’ for a cuppa and a catch up with some old friends and a few new faces.
The one important project for the weekend, was to install a new water tank at the top end of the allotment (alongside Jack’s polytunnel). This was possible thanks to Welsh Water who used the allotment to film a commercial earlier in the year, and generously paid a fee for the privilege. I am pleased to say that the work was completed and it is a huge improvement on the previous arrangement – again thanks are due to Andrew and Mike for all their hard work, and of course all the other helpers.
New water tank – almost completed
If you weren’t able to come along, then I hope we will see you at the next Action Day.