November at Plot 4

We’re getting a new shed at the allotment; a larger one, with a wood burner. The site of the shed is the present compost area, so I’ve had to respite the bins. This is a good time to empty compost bins, allowing more space for the autumn clear up. I’ll spread the compost on the empty beds, turning it in as we have really heavy soil. The worms and frost should work together over the winter to give a better structure to the soil.

Some of the compost will also be used as a mulch for our dahlias. It tends to be relatively mild in general; so the dahlia tubers don’t need to be lifted, but can be covered in 10cm or so of compost as an insulating blanket. That should keep the dahlias snug through the winter, ready to flourish again next year.

Whereas dahlias could need lifting, I’ve been planting daffodil bulbs and I’ll be planting tulips soon too. We’ve always had a few tulips at the plot, but this year I intend to plant more – so we can have a few cut flowers for the house. I’ll plant some under the apple tree to add some early season colour; I’ll also plant some as part of a corridor of bulbs (lining the main path). The tulip bulbs need to be in the ground before the cold comes, so allowing their roots to establish. They should be planted in a hole roughly three times their height; and if, like our plot, the soil doesn’t have good drainage, they benefit from some grit at the bottom of the hole.

The plot also needs a bit of a tidy, with brambles and trees to prune and wood chip paths to replenish. Still this should give some fuel for a bonfire in a few days time!

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