October 2015

26th October

Wicking Container with garlic planted Another bright day today, so back down the allotment. I started by raking the old Runner-Been bed to a fairly fine tilth . I then sowed some "Field Beans" " Green Manure" which I will leave in the ground to over winter, this will be turned into the ground in the Spring. All other "green Manure" sown this Autumn is showing and growing well. The next job was to make a "Wicking Container" for growing my garlic, as we suffer from onion white root rot, so I thought I will grow in compost in a container to hopefully keep the crop uninfected by the virus. I am uploading a video of the making of the "wicking container" with in the next few days. See image on the right of the completed container.

23rd October

Runner Bean Bed cleared and dugBack to the allotment this morning after some rainy and windy weather. I managed to harvest some Raspberries, enough for a couple of portions which we will eat today with some nice ice cream. My next task was to remove the last of my Runner-beans, which I did and then removed the Runner-bean plants and canes. I then weeded the bed and gave it it's winter dig. I then returned home for lunch.

When I got home I found that my seed order had been delivered from "Kings Seeds" which includes some "Field beans" Green Manure, so I will be able to sow some on my next allotment visit on the runner bean bed, as I have used all my other green manure seed.

17th October

 Selection of crops from the allotmentIt has been a little wet and windy over the last few days so I have had a few days off from working at the allotment.

This morning was still rather damp and windy, luckily we had no rain. So I made a short visit to the allotment mainly to harvest some crops, these included, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Celeriac, Runner beans, Lettuce, Tomatoes, and Raspberries, as you can see from the image on the right. I then watered the greenhouse and check on my lettuce which is just starting to show in the self watering buckets. I then returned home for lunch.

13th October

 path completed on the bottom two beds.Made another visit to the allotment this morning although the weather was overcast and rather cold.

My first task was to remove the Runner-beans that were growing at the end of bed two. I then spent the rest of the morning sorting out the path between the bottom to beds on the newer plot. See image on the left.

Finally I went and collected Kings Seed Catalogue for 2016. So that when I get home I will order my seeds for next year.

12th October

Grass cut also showing small pathsWell once again a nice sunny morning at the allotment. I started by harvesting a few parsnips and leeks that were growing where I wish to make a small membrane path between the bottom two beds.
I then picked a large bag of Runner beans. I stopped for a couple of chats with some other allotment holders before strimming and mowing my grass paths and edges.
Image on the right shows the cleared short paths, plus the grass paths with a cut and trim. I then returned home for lunch.
After lunch I cooked and froze the spinach I harvested the other day. I also made a video of the process which will be uploaded on the website and You-tube over the next few days.

10th October

Some beds cleared, composted and sown with green manureAnother early start at the allotment with the sun shinning for another beautiful day. Firstly I harvested a selection of crops (Lettuce, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Spinach, Carrots, Tomatoes, Beetroot and Raspberries ). Next I cleared the rest of my tomato plants mainly because of being infected with blight. Next I cleared the remaining ( Spinach, Beetroot, Carrots, and French Beans). I then raked, composted and added green manure to the beds that have been cleared. See image on the left that illustrates part of the allotment being cleared. Lastly at the allotment I set up another bucket to self water, which I sowed some winter lettuce. When I returned home I sorted out my seed list for next year cleared any old seed from their container, and saved some tomato seed ready for next year.

8th October

I nice bright morning at the allotment. I made an early start. I carried on working on the timber frames for my beds, adding another two small paths between another four sections. I also levelled off some frames so they sat better and making them more level. Finally I dug over the bed where the onions were grown this year.

7th October

Strawberry bed weeded and a membrane pathe added.Another wet and damp morning at the allotment. I managed to tidy and weed my strawberry beds as the damp weather over the last two days had softened up the soil, so it made it easier although the soil was still very sticky..

I also added a membrane between the two strawberry beds to make a path. The image on the right illustrates what I accomplished this morning. Finally I gave the greenhouse a water before returning home for lunch

6th October

Old decking used to make bedsI had a good morning at the allotment although we did have a few showers, which made it very muddy.

I spent my time positioning and putting together the wood for the raised beds on the newer plot.

I decided to make two beds 2.6m x 1.2 m between each of my paths. this will allow about 2ft between each bed to enable me to walk between them.

See image on the left

5th October

Just a quick visit to the allotment this morning. I spent my time Harvesting a few crops including Tomatoes, Cauliflower, Raspberries. before returning home for lunch.

3rd October

Wood to use for bedsSunny and warm again down at the allotment. I was given a load of used decking by another allotment holder which is enough to line four of my newest beds see image on the right. I will just line the long sides of each of my beds, this will take place over the next few weeks. My next task was to water the " green manure" sown the over day.

The door on the newest greenhouse is rather stiff so I removed and cleaned it, and is now working a little better. I harvested some nice Raspberries before returning home for lunch.

2nd October

 Pumkin Bed cleared and DugAnother Bright sunny day at the allotment. I started by weeding and digging the pumpkin and squash bed that I harvested yesterday, I have left the Marigolds there until I clear the Tomatoes later in the season. See image on the left.

The next job was to tidy the new shed, to make room for the greenhouse bench that I will use in the shed instead of the greenhouse I can then keep the floor area clear ready for planting.

Finally I watered the green manure that was sown yesterday before harvesting another cauliflower, before returning home for lunch.

1st October

Another month has started and it is a nice bright day at the allotment. I started by tilling the soil where the main crop potatoes were grown. I then raked and sowed some more green manure and I covered the seeds with netting to see if it is the pigeons that eat my Grazing Rye or whether it was poor seed. See image on the left. My next task was to harvest my pumpkins I managed 10 "Honey Bear" and 4 " Sweet Dumpling" derivatives. See middle image. I then removed more leaves from the tomato plants to help them ripen, clearing weeds from around the plants. See image on the right. Finally I gave the beds a good water before returning home for lunch.

October

What needs doing this month

Fruit

  • Order fruit trees and bushes for autumn delivery
  • Prepare planting sites
  • Control weeds around established trees
  • Place grease bands around apple and cherry trees to catch winter moths
  • Pick and store apples and pears as they mature
  • Cut out fruited blackberry and loganberry canes and train in new shoots
  • Spray cherries, peaches and nectarines.
  • Take gooseberry cuttings
  • Pick autumn-fruiting raspberries

Vegetables

  • Plant out spring cabbages.
  • Pick and take indoors the last of the tomatoes
  • Plant winter and spring lettuces
  • Cut remaining marrows and store in a dry, frost proof place.
  • Clear away pea and bean haulm and dig vacant ground.
  • Lift beetroot and store
  • Dig up a couple of roots of Parsley and move them to a frame for winter use. Alternatively pot up and take indoors on a windowsill.
  • Apply a general fertiliser to Brussels Sprouts and Winter Cabbage.
  • Cut back the top growth of Jerusalem Artichokes to ground level.
  • Lift Celeriac and store in boxes of sand in a cool place.
  • Sow round seeded Peas under cloches.
  • Begin double digging of any empty beds in preparation for next spring.
  • Harvest Jerusalem artichokes
  • Finish lifting all Potatoes before frost threatens.
  • Pick the last of the Runner beans and French beans before frost kills them off.
  • Late sowing of French beans should be covered with cloches.
  • Earth up Celery for the last time.
  • Plant out Spring Cabbages. Firm the soil well to avoid too much movement in winter winds.
  • Plant out garlic
  • Plant out strawberry plants for next year.
  • Order your manure ready for use.
  • Lift Seakale crowns and store in sand. They will keep like this until required for forcing.
  • Finish picking French and runner beans. Cover with fleece at night to protect from frost.
  • Sow winter lettuce under cloches

Herbs

  • Take more cuttings of bay, lavender, putting them in pots of sand in a cold frame
  • Divide clumps of chives in mild weather
  • Divide roots of mint, re-planting some and potting others to grow in the greenhouse
  • Dig up fennel and place in boxes of peat to force in a cool greenhouse

Greenhouse

  • Check heating equipment and thermostats
  • Cut down on ventilation
  • Water sparingly
  • Harvest tomatoes and sweet peppers
  • Sow lettuce for succession
  • Harvest grapes
  • Ripen new wood on peaches and nectarines

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.