Last weekend, Ma and I looked at the weather forecast and decided that there wasn’t going to be much allotmenting. I had planned to spend some time on Saturday but got side tracked by the mice, I spent about an hour and an half, we got another melon (will that ever not be exciting?), kale and a humungous parsnip, I took the green tomatoes that were turning and picked my first from the massive tumbling tom plant in the greenhouse. I also because I can’t help myself did some speed weeding, basically find an area that needs attention and fill a bucket with weeds. It made me feel slightly better about all the things that need attending to but that I don’t have enough time for.
Last week, the weather was colder and although it’s milder in terms of temperature this week, it feels like the end of summer. Sometimes in October, the weather is glorious and you can eke out the summer but this year, the garden feels like it’s done. Part of that feeling comes from this summer being such a slog, we’ve had produce but I struggled in the heat and the garden struggled with me, the winter squash are all tiny, which yes, I did grow some smaller varieties this year, although we’ve had tomatoes, there were only one or two weeks when we truly had more than we could handle. Every summer is different and every summer has it’s struggles, I’d take 2022 over the washout that was 2021 but I’m ready for a new season.
For a lot of people on the site, October and the Halloween event marks the end of the gardening year and they won’t be back until next Spring. As you know, this has never been my plan but we will slow down a bit in November. This is the first winter that I don’t have any massive building projects but there are things I want to do but we’ll start with the October jobs, I need to take in the winter squash and pull down the beans. The sweet potatoes need to come up at some point but as they are in the poly, I will leave them as long as I can. The entire plot needs weeding and a good tidy up. There are things to sow and plant too. The garlic arrived this week with 10 shallot bulbs and they need to go in the ground, we also need to sow the broad beans, we didn’t get to them last year and Ma missed them so we’re going to make time to sow and over winter them.
We also have an embarrassment of free plants coming from a friend, Michael who overbought and so I have some plant plugs coming to me, chard, rocket, swede, turnip and some lettuce to add to the things we sowed a couple of weeks ago and aren’t doing as well as I’d hoped but we’ll give it a go, coriander, chard, turnips, pak choi, spinach. We have free beds outside and a bed in the poly so we’ll plant them and hope. They may not do well and Ma and I will live off the kale, cabbage and cauliflowers we did get in the ground in good time or we’ll have more and be happy about it. It’s a strange thing to be going into October with beds full and growing things.
The longer term work is longer term, I’m moving the corner rhubarb right at the front of the plot, into the middle of the rhubarb patch and I have a spare rosemary to plant in that corner. It’s been there since I’ve had the plot and we split it a while ago and that did not help, I think it needs a more sheltered place to be, everyone sort of steps on it where it is and I want some cover at the front. I’m also moving one of the raspberry beds, it’s my fault, they are in a bed next the main path through the plot and getting on my wick. The bed before the compost bins in partially in shade and so I’m going to move them there when the cabbages in that bed are done, and use the bed by the path for something better behaved like beetroot or carrots! I need to move the rose that came up in one of the compost bins and may actually put an arch at the back for the yellow rose. I’d like to cut back some of the trees at the back of the plot because I’m tired of catching my hair on them. The final tidy up of the year needs to be the boysenberry area, the whole thing needs weeding, mulching and getting into order. The fun project are strawberries. We’re going to have two strawberry planters, and move the elsanta’s we have in the bath into them and add 30 more plants, 10 each of Malwina, Malling Centenury, and Honeoye. I’m excited about strawberries. It would be nice to get more than a handful and we should have enough plants to make that work, for 2024. If we don’t we’ll get another planter next year! (sorry Ma).
So lots to do but after this month we do it a bit more slowly.
Rest and you will be fit for another allotment adventure. Thank you 😊🌍