September seems to have come and gone very quickly and now we are seeing a change in the weather, bringing showery conditions. It’s time to harvest the last of the tomatoes, peppers, aubergines and courgettes before the frosts turn them into a soggy, black mess! At this time of year, allotment tasks consist mainly of clearing away, composting and preparing the beds for overwintering.
If you are thinking of carrying on for another year, you should have paid your licence fee by now; this was due by 30th September, so please hurry to renew as there is a waiting list of 7 people who are all keen to start on their own plot! You will have seen that the renewal form reminds you that you are responsible for mowing your surrounding paths. The last working party volunteers had to do some of this, adding an unnecessary effort to the many other tasks which they dealt with. Many thanks to Reg, Duncan, Alison, Amy and Fiona, as well as the committee members, who turned up to give a hand to resurface the carpark, and to Bill who did a magnificent job repairing the manure hopper. You probably noticed also that much of the shed area was weeded and the area between the hoppers and the bonfire. More still needs to be done along the boundaries so please join us for another working party session on Saturday 16th October from 9.30am onwards. We will be glad of as much help as possible! Thank you!
At the last committee meeting, John Poole (Plot 16) kindly agreed to become our Site Manager; if you find you have an issue with the equipment or need help on site, please ring him on his mobile which is posted up in the open shed.
Our new Treasurer, Harminder Kandohla, has notified us that we shall probably need to change our banking facility because HSBC are going to bring in various charges in November. We shall need to change a clause of our constitution and to do this, we shall be holding an online Special General Meeting (SGM) on Thursday 28th October at 8pm. The Committee proposes to amend item 23 of the constitution from:
The Treasurer shall open a cheque book account with a bank or building society in the name of the Society.
Payments by cheque shall require any 2 authorised signatures.
The Treasurer shall open an account with a bank or building society in the name of the Society. Payments will only be made with written approval from at least 2 committee members.
A separate email will be sent to all members giving instructions on how to participate in this Special General Meeting with further details about the proposed changes. We shall also accept voting by email in advance. More details to follow.
And finally, Harminder would like to organise a Seed Swap. Do you have any unwanted excess seeds (either collected by you or in packets still in date)? She will set up a seed bank in the open shed for you to leave your packets (clearly labelled!!) and to pick up any seeds you could use. Although a free service, you are welcome to leave a small donation in the Honesty Box. All funds gratefully received!
WHAT TO DO IN OCTOBER:
SOW vegetable seeds such as winter early variety broad beans or hardy, over wintering peas under cloches. If you have a cold frame, try sowing early summer cauliflowers in pots or modules. Keep under cover all winter and then plant out in March.
PLANT OUT spring cabbages, garlic sets, onion sets (if the ground is well drained) and rhubarb sets. Fruit bushes such as currants and gooseberries, strawberries and cranberries do well if planted out now to get established before the winter.
HARVEST beetroot and swede before they become too big and woody. Continue pulling carrots and cutting autumn cauliflowers. Harvest the last beans, pumpkins, courgettes and summer squashes before the frosts. Any bean pods left on to dry for next year’s seed should be harvested on a dry day, podded and stored in airtight jars.
JOBS FOR OCTOBER:
– Earth up leeks, celery and Brussels sprouts
– ‘Cure’ pumpkins and squashes by cutting them and leaving them in the sun to dry. The tougher the skins become, the longer they will last.
– Lift all remaining potatoes.
– Take off yellowing leaves of brassicas.
– Clear old vegetation.
– Remove and store plant supports.
– Break up heavy soil by digging and then cover beds with polythene to suppress weeds and warm the ground for early planting next spring.
– Cut down asparagus and the stems and foliage of Jerusalem artichokes.
– Mulch celeriac and parsnips.
– Finish pruning blackberries and summer raspberries.
There certainly seems to be plenty to be getting on with! Whatever is on your jobs list, enjoy your month on Calico Field!