Gardeners and farmers are never satisfied with the weather. Despite some long dry spells early in the season and then a wet period, it has been a good productive season for most of us at the allotments. The weeds seem to have been harder to control than ever but amongst them all everything from potatoes to cabbages and courgettes have cropped well. With all but the winter vegetables left to harvest plot holders can begin to turn their minds to next season. The manure has arrived and digging can begin.
Tips for the winter months:
- Begin to lift leeks as required and store carrots in peat or sand.
- Remove weeds such as the deadly nightshade before they drop their seeds but others such as chickweed can be dug in deeply.
- Broad beans can be sown in late autumn for an early crop, but might need some protection, otherwise sow again in February.
- Plant shallots on the shortest day and then harvest them on the longest day.
- Prune autumn raspberries and reduce the dead wood in black currant bushes by about a third.
- Plan for next year, using a three year rotation if possible. Peruse the catalogues and order seeds and potatoes.
A good internet link for further advice can be found at http://www.allotment.org.uk/garden_month/garden_october.php