1 October 2022 Newsletter

Dear Plotter,

October is upon us and the autumn has really started, with shorter days and colder nights. The new season also indicates the time for renewing your Licence Agreement and paying your fees for this coming year. Please remember to use the new NatWest bank account as detailed in your letter. Here it is again, in case you’ve lost it!
Account number: 93398808
Sort code: 51-81-22
The fees are now £65 for a full plot and £40 for a half plot and are due by 1st October, please.
We say goodbye to Peter and Christine (Plot 15) and to Bryony (Plot 4B). We wish them well and thank them for their contribution to SPAA.

You may have seen some embryonic raised beds being constructed by the side of the sheds; at the last working party, we levelled the ground and planned out the space. We shall fill them with the 20 bags of recycled compost, granted to us by Re3. We were successful in applying for free bags for this project, which will enable more people from the parish to garden. They will be offered to people who have children and to those who want a smaller space. Thanks go to Nick and Amy, Duncan, Liz, John, Brian and Alison for turning up to help. They also did a wonderful job weeding round the polytunnel! Coffee and cake was enjoyed by all on this beautiful sunny day.
The next working party will be held on Saturday 29th October from 9.30am.
Please could I remind you to start clearing out the polytunnel, once your crops have finished. Please sweep the floor and weed under your section. Thank you.
The water tanks will be emptied at the end of the month.
The next delivery of manure has been ordered and was delivered this morning. Please pay SPAA £1 per barrow for any that you use.
Wood chippings
: these are proving hard to come by! In the past, we have been very grateful to Oliver from Heartwood Trees for a free donation. If any of you have a connection with any other company, please approach them and see if you can source any free chippings for us!

There is not much you can sow now as this is traditionally the time to harvest the remaining summer vegetables before the main frosts. However, early varieties of broad beans and peas, over-wintering onion sets and garlic cloves can be sown now, if your ground is not too waterlogged over the winter. 
VEGETABLES TO PLANT OUT:  Transplant your spring cabbages out now in well firmed -down earth and cover with nets. Rhubarb plants should be dormant by now so it’s a good opportunity to divide and replant old crowns or plant new plants.
You can also plant out new currant bushes, strawberries and grape vines.
Autumn cabbages, aubergines, celeriac, pumpkins and squashes, (although cut and leave to cure in the sun), leeks, beetroot and the last beans. Continue pulling carrots and swedes. Any remaining tomatoes need to be picked and brought indoors to ripen at home before the frosts spoil the last fruits.

  • Clear old vegetation
  • Tidy away bean canes and supports
  • Dig over beds which have become compacted, weed as you go and cover up
  • Cut down asparagus ferns and the stems and foliage of Jerusalem artichokes
  • Earth up Brussels sprouts and remove yellowing leaves from brassicas
  • Lift potatoes and beetroot now. Carrots and swedes can stay in the ground for a bit longer and leave parsnips until after the first frosts to harvest
  • Mulch celeriac and parsnips with straw.
  • Raise pumpkins and squashes onto a slab or brick to cure
  • Earth up leeks and celery
  • Cover late crops with cloches
  • Dry bean pods by leaving them on the plants. If the weather is wet, harvest them and then hang them up indoors to dry off. When completely dry, pod them and store in airtight containers to use in soups and casseroles.
  • Finish pruning blackberries and summer raspberries.
  • Order new fruit bushes, ready for planting out in November..

Have a good month!
Best wishes
Claire Hamilton
(SPAA Secretary)