October at Plot 4

September, with the start of the school year and my work to develop a local bakery in the heart of my community, has sped by. If I’m honest, I’ve neglected the plot a bit. I’ve been there a fair bit, but have been harvesting crops and just enjoying the space, rather than getting on with the jobs I should have been doing. Consequently, the start of October is necessarily going to be a busy one.

 

There is still a lot to harvest, the autumn fruiting raspberries are still going, as are the blackberries. The beetroot have been a great success and have been used in a range of dishes recently, including this delicious slaw. The squashes are also ripening nicely and I look forward to harvesting the first of the fruits in the next day or so. Squashes to me, are the archetypal autumn vegetable and also one of the most versatile one. They can be used roasted for gnocchi or pasta dishes, in soups, even in cupcakes. The last of tomatoes are ripening too, so I’ll be using these in various dishes, as well as preserving a few too.

At this time of year there is little to sow. I’ve sown a few rows of late lettuce, now that the days are a little shorter and the heat has diminished a little. I’ve got a number of brassica plants and leeks to plant out in the next day or so, although not sown myself they should bring a harvest later in the year.

The autumn tidy up is the main job this month. There’s paths to tidy, greenhouse to clean out, fences to fix, beds to be dug; the list goes on. With the cold weather coming towards the end of the month ahead, I’m also going to make sure I have enough firewood for the log burner. The allotment is a great place to spend time, and having a warm shed to pop into for a hot cup of tea, or just to warm up, makes being there and getting jobs done all the easier.

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This post is contributing to The Garden Share Collective; an international group of bloggers who share their vegetable patches, container gardens and the herbs they grow on their window sills.

September at Plot 4

August has seen some scorching weather, but also unseasonably cool and wet days. The slightly odd weather and the fact that we’ve been away for a decent portion of the month, has seen some super growth by veg and weeds alike.

August has offered much to harvest. The beetroot have swollen to a good size, and the French beans have been plentiful, giving us a load of different dishes, including a new found classic – tagliatelle with pesto, green beans and new potatoes. Last year’s cucumber monster has reared his head once more, and we have an ongoing supply of the coolest of vegetables. The soft fruit this year has been amazing; raspberries have followed on from the strawberries, and now we have a bumper crop of blackberries to devour. Our early apple tree has been laden with fruit for a while, but they have just become ripe and we are inundated in apples. The trouble with having an early variety of apple like Beauty of Bath is that they don’t store well, so I’ve been bottling and making to use them as well as I can.

A new row of salad is due to be sown in the next few days, and I will sow more  Cime di Rapa too, as the first few rows have been decimated by the weather, pests and (if I’m honest) a little neglect on my behalf. I’ve failed to prepare properly for the winter period, so may have to source some kale and other brassicas from somewhere to fill a gap or two. In the greenhouse the tomatoes, peppers and chillis are doing their own thing, but I’ll look to sow some salads as space becomes available.

As I mentioned, our trips away from home during August have resulted in a little wild growth, and as a result there are many jobs to do in September. One of the major jobs is to prepare ground for the autumn/winter growing period. Depending on my success in finding crops to pop in, or sow, this may also involve the sowing of green manures. I’ve had little success in the past with these, ending up on one occasion with a mass spreading of rye grass across a section of plot, and failing to remove it all properly. However, this year if I have space, I’m going to revitalise the ground with a green manure. Any ideas which work best?

Garden share collective badge

This post is contributing to The Garden Share Collective; an international group of bloggers who share their vegetable patches, container gardens and the herbs they grow on their window sills.