Plot 70B: November
Autumn on the plot is a bit of a strange time. There’s a rush at the beginning as we celebrate harvest and the gathering of our (hopefully) bountiful crops. At some allotments that means competition times or festivals. But as the weather turns and our lush greenery over the summer starts to die back you can be forgiven for thinking that life on the plot is coming to an end before we head into Winter. In some aspects this is true, Autumn is the time for tidying, clearing, digging over beds and putting them down for the colder months. I also like to use this time for building and fixing the more structural things on the plot, we recently built a new shed & I’m hoping to get the Greenhouse from my parents place moved down before the cold really sets in.
However the planting is not all done, nor is the growing. I spent a rather satisfying few hours on a Saturday morning planting out the garlic which will overwinter. I’ve gone a little bit overboard this year, buying 8 different varieties and planting just over 100 cloves in total. The taste testing next year is definitely something to look forward to. Now is also the time to be planting out other overwintering veg including some varieties of onion and broad beans, not to mention a whole host of flowering bulbs that will shoot up in a few months as the earth comes back to life again. And you may still have brassicas in the ground. Going strong, ready to keep you going over the darker half of the year, until you are utterly sick of cabbage and squash and roots and crave the sweetness of baby veg that spring brings.
For me Autumn is the best season. I love watching the change of seasons, the way that colour spreads through nature in a completely different way to summer. Without meaning to sound too morbid, it’s a reminder that there can still be beauty in dying things. It’s likely that over the next few weekends you will find me at the plot, steaming cup of tea in hand, pottering & tidying or warming myself up by digging over beds and mulching them or throwing cuttings on a fire whilst writing notes on all my plans for the coming year.
I always find it re-assuring to know that what I’m doing on the plot is the same as everyone and else and I’ve not lost it completely. So here is a list of jobs I’ll be doing over November:
Planting out bulbs
Planting out overwintering veg, including garlic and broad beans (I’ve decided to grow spring planted onion varieties but you could include these here too)
Digging over, mulching and covering beds
Pruning fruit bushes and maybe planting some cuttings
Fixing my compost bins and covering them
Peas, love & cider,