October allotment tasks

It’s frightening to think that this month is when some parts of the UK will have the first frosts of winter. We shouldn’t, being in the balmy south, but we need to be thinking about fleece protection for some of our crops.

• We’re picking over our potatoes and putting any that are less than a third green in complete darkness – after a month the green will be gone. It’s the result of sun exposure and the green parts contain a poison called an alkaloid which just goes to show that potatoes and Deadly Nightshade are part of the same family. However if they’ve gone back to potato coloured after a month of total light exclusion they will be safe to eat.

• We’re not planting garlic until November, but it’s time to prepare the garlic bed – this year they will be going into a raised bed as we grew far too much last year!

• We also need to move our broad bean supports to their new site so that we can plant the beans next month. We found overwintering broad beans to be much better than spring-planted ones so we’re doubling our sowing in November.

• And we’re picking off any yellow leaves from our brassicas so that they don’t harbour slugs or diseases like botrytis.

What are you going to be doing in October?

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Thursday, October 1, 2009


Blogger Jo said...

My main job for October is to get cracking with the digging over of the plot. I've now got a manure mountain, so that's waiting to be dug in.

October 2, 2009 at 4:24 AM  
OpenID allotments4you.com said...

I have been clearing and tidying for the past month...now I pray for rain so that i can give a winter dig...I am going to planting broad beans too...I didn't know about winter garlic though...maybe I should give it a try..I have a raised bed I could put it in....does it have to be a particular garlic to plant in the winter??

October 3, 2009 at 2:10 AM  
Blogger Joanna said...

Well we had our first heavy frost last night here in Latvia, well enough to finish off the courgettes so we spent the day gathering the remaining crop of beans (all 10 kilos of them but that is before shelling), the pumpkins that we didn't even plant so goodness knows where the seeds came from but we ended up with four huge ones a few small ones, carrots, some cucumbers and nasturtium seeds. Our remaining jobs will be to get the beetroot in, kohlrabi, some sorry looking broccoli and the remaining sweetcorn. We still have kale, parsnips (all four of them), hamburg parsley, cabbages and leeks which we will probably sort out this next month. Once November comes it will be too cold or snowing.

October 3, 2009 at 10:28 AM  
Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

Jo - manure mountains are great.

Tanya - any european garlic can be planted in a sheltered spot to over-winter.

Joanna - you have an even tougher winter than we do! Good luck ...

October 9, 2009 at 6:56 AM  
Anonymous Bob said...

I have just taken over a new allotment.The plot is a bit undernourished as the last tenant seemed never to have fed the plot.
I am digging the weeds and have erected a compost bin from Pallets.
I intend to use chicken manure which I can get quite easily.
To start I have planted onion sets,Broad beans and Garlic.
I am planting some Lettuces that came from the supermarket as cut and come again in pots.
Do you think they will be any good.

September 30, 2012 at 9:45 AM  

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