A fine Autumn day on the Allotment
It was a fine September day on Thursday and we had an energetic time on the plot. Each week now we have a busy time with the pleasure of harvesting and storing the produce which has been growing this season, as well as keeping on top of the weeds and keeping the grass cut – we are never short of jobs to be done!
The main crop potatoes were dug up, laid out to dry and stored in paper sacks. We don’t water the potatoes, relying on compost, a good base of part-rotted leaves in the bottom of the trench and mulches to keep the moisture levels up. Even with the dry weather this year there has been a good crop. We have been growing some new-to-us varieties – the ever-popular Maris Piper which has done well, producing a good baking size and Heidi Red which interestingly is indeed red inside. The other varieties we grew are Arran Victory and, everybody’s favourite, Pink Fir Apple.
The autumn raspberries are in full flow, and we are still picking some blueberries and the last of the plums. The broad beans are now over but still good pickings on the runners. The carrots in the old fertiliser tubs are slow. They were thinned again and put in a sunnier spot. At least they have not been eaten by the slugs this way.
All the apples were checked for ripeness and today it was the cookers – variety Grenadier – which were ready, and we had a good harvest of clean, sizeable apples.
And finally, the interesting wildlife of the week was a caterpillar found near a borage plant on the potato bed. It is possibly the dark green fritillary. It has a light turquoise strip down the back and dark maroon spots along the side with a white spot at its rear end, quite hairy and not a looper.
Jobs for next week
- Keep checking the apples for ripeness
- Dig up the sweetcorn
- Tie in the new growth on soft fruit, prune out old stems
- Weed comfrey bed