November 2021

November is upon us and the weather has turned decidedly chilly. It is the month for fireworks, smoky bonfires and hunkering down with the heating turned up. Visits to the allotment will be less frequent now but as the weeds never really go away, I will need to keep it tidy. Also, I will be picking what few crops are left - spinach, chard and leeks are still available. My sprouts are coming but are a little on the small side. I have to hold my hands up to the fact that the Tundra cabbages are somewhat disappointing. Most of the plants are very small but there are 3 that have hearts on them. My guess is that they are all suffering from club root and the majority of them will probably not come to anything. I may add lime next time but I am too late now so will just have to make do with the 3.

Overall, it’s been quite a successful year. The cauliflowers were good, my runner beans, potatoes, courgettes, broad beans, leeks, spinach, chard, spring onions, sweet corn and beetroot were all excellent. I even had a few raspberries from the canes that I planted last December as bare root cuttings. The cut flowers I grew provided us with lots of blooms throughout the summer and into early autumn.

On the downside, in addition to my tundra cabbages, the tomatoes were a huge disappointment. As I said above, the cabbages were probably lacking in something (could be lime) and as a result not amounting to much. As for the tomatoes, well it was the blight that got them.

The tomato plants growing on the allotment were totally wiped out but I did manage to salvage a few from the ones growing in my greenhouse. The summer weather was just too cool and damp for tomatoes. However, for some strange reason, the potatoes were not affected and I had quite a good crop from all the varieties that I grew.

Despite those two disappointments, I am very happy with what I have achieved and will (hopefully) learn from the mistakes made this year so that I can be better prepared for the next.

As I mentioned earlier, I will be going up to the allotment less frequently until Spring because all I need to do is to keep the plot tidy and turn the compost in the bins and on the heap. There will still be plenty to do, though. I have ordered next year’s seed potatoes from Marshalls and they are due for delivery in December. I’ll be perusing seed catalogues and thinking about what I’m going to grow next year as well as doing jobs in the house and redesigning my website. As if all of that isn’t enough, Charlton Athletic will be keeping me on the edge of my seat (at The Valley Stadium) during those same winter months as they try (some say struggle) to keep out of the League 1 relegation zone.

Ah well, onwards and upwards – Come On You Reds!

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