Tidying Up the Plot

18th Nov 2016. There has been lots of tidying up to do on the allotment clearing the ground where crops have been to remove not just the spent crops but also the weeds that have grown between them. A lot of the ground is now clear and the compost heap is looking full.

The new raspberries that we planted have been pruned. They are Autumn Bliss which as the name suggests are late season croppers. I much prefer these to summer raspberries which are much more difficult to look after as you have to remove just the branches that have produced fruit and leave the rest that have appeared over the summer to produce next year’s fruit. It’s easy to get muddled up and remove the wrong stems especially if you have left it till late in the season when they can all start to look similar. With Autumn raspberries you just cut down every stem – simple.

Plots that have been cleared have been covered with a layer of manure ready for the worms to break down over the winter. In spring we will add blood, fish and bone and seaweed before we start planting up.

The purple sprouting broccoli have had their netting raised and fastened down well for the winter. The plants are getting really big now and the netting is necessary to prevent the pigeons feasting on them during the cold weather (see picture).

We are still picking parsnips, carrots, chard, leeks and kale as well as eating the bagged down potatoes which we have stored in the garage. These crops provide a good basis for our winter eating and will keep us going for another few months. We will supplement now with other bought crops such as sprouts and butternut squash which we don’t grow and we will need to buy in more as the winter progresses and we run out, but all in all we have had a good and productive season.