The Big Autumn Tidy Up

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Summer seems like a distant memory now, the nights are drawing in, the rain is pounding down and the weather has a slight chill to the air. There is still plenty to do down on the allotment though and the list of jobs seems to be never ending.  Not that I’m complaining at all, any excuse to spend the weekend down at my favourite place!

The end of the season also means the end of some of Summer’s best cropping plants including the pumpkins and the beans. It’s been such a great year with bountiful harvests, blooms of flowers and lots of fun along the way. The big Autumn tidy up started with removing the climbing French beans and putting the bean poles away for the Winter. The dwarf French beans were next to be pulled up, and a good old digging session was in order. The old bean bed is where the chickens will be living so it was great to be able to clear the space and start to plan for next Spring’s arrivals.

The other plants that had to be tidied away were the Mar’s pumpkins and the climbing Munchkin pumpkins that had been climbing over the hazel archway. The pumpkins were my favourite crops this year, it was my first time growing them and there’s nothing quite exciting as watching a tiny green ball grow into a large orange pumpkin. I especially loved the tiny Munchkin pumpkins (they were easy to grow, plenty of them and they taste so delicious too!) so it was a little sad seeing the empty archway which was once so full with pumpkins that I could hardly walk up the path!

Even though it was a little dis-heartening tidying away most of this years crops, I’m so excited to start planning for next year. Just as some crops are coming out new crops will replace them and there’s some broad beans to be sown, garlic to be planted and also lots of tulip bulbs to be planted into the new flower trough.  There’s also a grapevine to plant, although first I need to clear the wild flowers from around the pond and then plan which flowers to grow there next year. I need to make a frog hotel to keep my resident frogs happy, paint the pallet fence, weed the fruit cage, net the fruit cage, and I’m sure there’s plenty of other jobs to be done before the weather gets too cold. If only there were more hours in the day!

The rest of the allotment however is looking great, there’s plenty still growing including the flower sprouts, kale, red cabbages, 3 rows of carrots, 6 rows of swiss chard, and the leeks. Not forgetting the raspberries which are cropping like crazy, every time I pop up the allotment I help myself to a handful of raspberries (which don’t tend to make it home!)

I hope everyone has had a great growing year and that the growing doesn’t stop here!