It’s that time of year when we start to put the allotment to bed. Plots that have finished producing are cleared of debris, weeded and covered with a good layer of manure which will be taken down into the soil over winter by the worms.
We still have some crops left. The chard will carry on producing for another month or so, then it will die down for the winter and re-appear in spring ready to keep us going until new plants start producing. The purple sprouting broccoli will not produce a crop until early next year but the plants are looking strong and healthy so I’m hoping for a good crop. We also have parsnips, swede and perpetual cabbage to pick.
The leeks have taken a turn for the worse. The leaves started to brown and wither a month or so ago so we started picking them in the hope that the centres would be alright. On cutting them open I found the culprits, some little dark red beetles called leek leaf minor. Leeks rarely get diseases but apparently this beetle is a fairly recent problem and in order to prevent their eggs being layed we need to cover the leeks next year with enviromesh. I was pleased that I’d found the beetles as at least we now know what to do.
The land cress which I was thinking of digging up because the leaves were so small is now producing prolifically so we will cover the patch with glass to protect the crop. Hopefully we can enjoy a little cress with our lunches until any very cold weather arrives. We will also cover the parsley so that we can keep on picking that too.
This is my last allotment blog of the year. I can’t believe that another season has come and gone, but it will be good to have a rest from the physical work and spend some time indoors planning next years crops.