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Spud Grubber's Blog

Guy Barter

  • Date Joined: 15 Jan 2007

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Allotment this weekend in early autumn

Posted by Guy Barter on 17 Sep 2010 at 12:20 PM

Suddenly night temperatures are beginning to dip below 10C, so that tender crops will be at risk within a week or two.  Rain has kept the soil moist and watering is only required for celery and other thirsty crops.


• Many of the potatoes have died back and these can be defoliated and lifted.  There is no blight in the crop so the risk of infection from spores on the soil is low. 


• Potatoes with foliage, like the tomatoes, are still sprayed as required.  However low night temperatures limit blight activity.  Other allotment holders who have neglected spraying now have infected plants adding to the infection pressure on the crops of other allotment holders.  Failure to remove infested crops is reprehensible.


• Lettuce and spinach sown for over-wintering has emerged and is ready to hoe.


• Leeks are infested with rust, but the falling night temperatures will limit damage.  No fungicides are available.


• Uncropped areas have become weedy and the dry weather forecast will allow these to be cleaned up with glyphosate-based weedkiller.


• Squash and pumpkin foliage is drying off and fruits are being brought back to a sunny place in the back garden to finish ripening for winter storage.  If frosts threaten foliage will be draped over the fruits for extra protection.  They should all be safely indoors by the time harder frosts are likely next month.


• Onion and shallot sets for over-wintering have been bought and the onions will be planted as soon as an area can be cleared for them.


• Cabbage leaf miner has damaged the spring cabbage transplants.  This minor pest is usually ignored, and in fact the transplants should grow away from the damage with some extra liquid feeding.


• Harvesting is being done of aubergines, courgettes, cucumbers, French beans, gherkins, runner beans, sweetcorn and tomatoes. These will be vulnerable to cold soon and fleece will be deployed to give some protection from light frosts. 


•  More spent crops are ready to be cleared and consigned to compost pit or bonfire.


• Weeds grow more slowly now so it should be possible to get the upper hand this week!


EvaInNL said:

Hello Guy, an avid reader of your blog here! I always read your posts as they give me good tips and reminders of what needs doing at the allotment. And Im sure I'm not the only one, so keep up the good work!

on 18 Sep 2010 at 10:13 AM

Guy Barter said:

Thank you for your kind remarks - I will do my inadequate best.

on 18 Sep 2010 at 01:27 PM