November 2014

Sunday 30th

Just a quick visit to the allotment this morning. I managed to add about 15 bags of horse manure to a compost heap. I than took my monthly video tour of the allotment.

Saturday 29th

Another bright dry morning. I spent my time on the allotment this morning digging the section I uncovered yesterday. I managed to dig the first of the two beds 5ft x 20ft, these beds will be slightly wider than the others as it will fit into the ground I have left, which will leave me with a 3ft path in between.

Friday 28th

bottom bed uncoveredIt's been rather wet the last couple of  days so no allotment visits. Today I have started the work on the section in front of the shed on my newest plot.
This section has been covered with membrane since I took over the plot last May.
I spent my time this morning uncovering the section, and worked out where the edges should be, and trimmed those edges.
Finally I marked out where the path will go ready to start digging on my next visit as long as there is no rain, as the soil is very sticky at the moment.
The image on the right shows the section uncovered.

Tuesday 25th

A little overcast this morning. I spent my time at the allotment digging out a section behind the shed ready to add a new path, I did not finish it, as the earth was far too sticky. I started to clear the section in front of the shed by moving the open compost materials into a new compost bin. Finally I pulled a whole Brussels Sprout plant with its top leaves I then went home for lunch.

Monday 24th

Paths being laidAnother warm and sunny morning, after a few days of rain.
This morning I started to make my paths on the newest plot, to start with I cut my old carpets into three foot wide strips to fit on the three foot path area, this was then laid across the plot leaving a four foot strip for the  growing area bed.
The next task was to lay a membrane on top of the carpets to form the path.
The image on the left shows two paths completed, the top left corner shows the carpet before the membrane is added. I just need to purchase some more membrane pegs to finish off the main paths. If the rain holds off I should be able to finish the paths by the end of the week.

Friday 21st

strawberry bedA bright morning with no rain, so I was able to get to the allotment.
My main task was to plant up my strawberry runners that I had potted up during the summer.
The Strawberries had a great root structure on them so I am hoping they will settle in okay in their new bed.
The image on the right shows the new strawberry bed.
I then trimmed  and tidied up my other strawberry bed.
I gave my pots and trays a good wash before returning home for my lunch.
On my next visit I will try and give the grass paths a cut as the grass is still growing.

Monday 17th

Broccoli coveredA productive morning at the allotment. I removed my large Brassicas cage as the Brassicas plant were only taking up about a third of the area, also the cage bamboo cross beams were quite flimsy, and even a little snow would have brought the cage down. This also gave me the opportunity to clear the beds of old leaves and debris. I set up two small netted areas just to keep the pigeons off the plants. See image on the left , the tall areas has a netting cover to protect from the pigeons.
I will plant my strawberry runners on my newer plot on my next visit to the allotment while it is still quite mild.

Sunday 16th

At long last I was able to get to the allotment today. I have had a chest infection for the last couple of weeks, which has now cleared I hope?  My wife joined me at the allotment and we harvested  some  Brussels sprouts Raspberries Lettuce and the last of the Tomatoes. We tidied  the greenhouse a bit and then went home for lunch. There are plenty of jobs still need doing so I hope to do those during the week.

Saturday 1st

I visited the allotment this afternoon. This was mainly to take a video of the allotment for the month of October. I also harvested some Raspberries and Brussels Sprouts for tomorrows dinner.

November

What needs doing this month

Fruit

  • Plant fruit trees and bushes. In inclement weather, store trees in a frost-free shed or heel them in outdoors. Soak dry tree roots before planting. Plant firmly and at the same depth as the trees were in the nursery.
  • Prune trees after planting
  • Complete work on heavy soils
  • Clear weeds from around established trees and bushes.
  • Start winter pruning established trees. BUT NOT cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums or damsons.
  • Check that ties are not cutting bark.
  • Cut out cankers and control woolly aphids.
  • Inspect stored fruit, and ripen pears at room temperature

Vegetables

  • Sow broad beans outdoors for an early crop
  • Continue to remove any yellowing leaves on Brussels Sprouts.
  • Early Savoy Cabbages should now be ready for picking.
  • Pick red cabbages, they will store better in a shed than leaving them in the ground.
  • Check sheds and poly tunnels for wind damage and repair before it gets worse.
  • Protect winter salads like lettuce and endive from wetness by placing cloches over them.
  • Lift Salsify and Cornerstone and place in storage in sand.
  • Get as much winter digging done as possible before the ground becomes too wet.
  • If the soil is well drained, sow round-seeded peas such as Feltham First or Meteor to over-winter in a sheltered position.
  • Lift and split mature clumps of rhubarb. Replant the divided clumps. Any clumps that are not used can be left on top of the ground to be frosted for 2-3 weeks and then potted up in pots and covered with black polythene and kept at a temperature of 45F (7C) to force an early crop in spring.
  • Lift and divide and replant chives. Put a couple of clumps in pots for the kitchen windowsill.
  • Now is a good time to plant grape vines. They need to be planted when dormant but avoid planting in frosty weather.
  • Remove any yellow or dead leaves from brassica. Pick sprouts as they start to crop to prevent them from blowing.
  • Lift roots of chicory for forcing in warmth and darkness.
  • Cut down Globe artichokes and protect the crowns with straw.
  • Work can be started on any empty beds by digging over and incorporating manure if required ready for next spring.
  • Keep Lettuces in frames free of weeds.
  • Lift and store Jerusalem Artichokes in the same way as you would Potatoes.
  • Lift a few roots of Parsnips and Horseradish for use should the ground freeze up.
  • If it is too wet for outside work, take the opportunity to clean up any unused cloches and tools that will not be used again until spring.
  • Place container over Rhubarb and Chicory to force them.

Herbs

  • Clear basil, chervil and dill, also fennel and parsley that has grown for a second season.
  • Cover September sown parsley and chervil with cloches

Greenhouse

  • Restrict ventilation and give careful watering
  • Check heaters regularly
  • Annual greenhouse clean-up campaign
  • Blanch chicory and sea kale
  • Lift rhubarb crowns for forcing
  • Sow lettuce for continuity of supply
  • Prune vines once dormant
  • Ventilate peaches, nectarines and strawberries

General

  • service mechanical machinery ready for spring
  • check the seed catalogues and order any seeds onion sets and plants required
  • check sundries like stakes, bean poles, canes, netting, fertilisers etc..
  • tidy up the shed while its still quite quiet.