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Spud Grubber's Blog

Guy Barter

  • Date Joined: 15 Jan 2007

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What to do on the allotment as mid-autumn approaches

Posted by Guy Barter on 09 Oct 2010 at 11:43 AM

Heavy rain has brought soils up to full capacity in many cases, hindering soil preparation for autumn sowing and planting. On the other hand mild weather with some sun has kept late summer crops productive, although at low levels.

  • Spent crops will be cleared; courgettes, French beans, runner beans, peppers and aubergines.



  • Other late summer crops are still going from June/July sowings; courgettes, French and Runner beans – tese are getting in the way, but it is still too soon to sacrifice them with the autumn sowing and planting periods not quite pressing.



  • Garlic, shallots, brod beans and round seeded pea seeds are ready to go in in about two week's time.



  • Weedy areas will be raked over to kill young weeds and induce more to germinate.



  • Older weeds should be mostly destroyed by recent glyphosate and diquat treatment, but more keep appearing in standing crops and are pulled out as soon as seen, as long as the soil is not too wet to trample.



  • Given the weather the storing cabbage will be left for longer. The late planted white cabbage still has quite a lot of growing to do and might not mature until November.



  • The old compost pit has been uncovered and unrotted material forked onto the new compost pit. Now the compost that is ready to use is accessible and will be wheeled out ready for the digging that will get the ground ready for autumn sowing and planting.



  • Other ground will also be manured and a load will be ordered as soon as the late summer crops currently occupying the tipping site are finished.



  • Cabbage whitefly are getting numerous. Those at Wisley are at plague proportions and mine will be too soon – a sprayer of SB Plant Invigorator will be be tried. Caterpillars seem at low levels due to recent application of natural pyrethrins.


EvaInNL said:

Hello Guy, I've got a couple of bare beds on my allotment and was planning to add some manure to it. It's from the bottom of the fresh manure heap at the local stables.  Would it have time  to rot down enough for next Spring?

Good tip about the raking over by the way!


on 10 Oct 2010 at 09:35 AM

bogweevil said:

Yes, plenty of time.  If we have another dry summer the manure will help your crops get sufficient water.

on 11 Oct 2010 at 04:30 PM

Guy Barter said:

I must come clean - no matter how many weed seedlings you induce to germinate and then kill in the autumn there will always be plenty more seedlings the following year!  But it feels good to kill lots now and it must help a little.

on 12 Oct 2010 at 07:22 PM

EvaInNL said:

Thanks Boggy!

Know what you mean about new weeds next year Guy. I didn't get round to pulling the weeds this year before they flowered and dropped seed. Even if I had, my neighbour has neglected his plot terribly this year unfortunately. Oh well, keeps me out of mischief... ;o)

on 13 Oct 2010 at 01:51 PM