1 September 2020 Newsletter

Dear Plotters

Please find below the newsletter for this month.

September is also the month for me to send out the renewals notice for your tenancy, which is payable by 1st October, please. Details of paying by BACS will be included in the envelope.

Could you notify me immediately if you have changed address since last year?

Thank you!

May I also remind you to make a donation to SPAA if you have used any of the manure.

I hope you continue to enjoy your harvest!

This month is a turning point for the summer season when the early crops start to come to an end and we can begin to harvest those later, autumn crops. Throw into the mix the vagaries of the weather and who knows what Nature will accomplish, but the year isn’t over quite just yet! There’s still plenty to do on Calico Field!


Pick aubergines before they lose their glossy skin colour and become bitter; harvest Swiss chard leaves and cook them like spinach. Try boiling the chopped stalks, drain and add lemon juice and ground pepper for a tasty alternative. Lift any remaining onions, dry them and hang up to store. Pick sweetcorn when the tassels turn brown or black by pulling down on the cob and holding the main stem firmly in your other hand; check your turnips to see if you could harvest some of the bigger ones, although they can stay in the ground to swell until you’re ready. Globe artichokes may produce a second lot of flowerheads which can be harvested now and, similarly, the first pumpkins and squashes may be ready to pick. Red cabbages can be harvested any time between August and November when they are sufficiently hearty. Keep lifting beetroot before they become too large and woody and lift carrots carefully to avoid snapping the roots. Harvest your chillies and peppers as they turn from green to red. Maincrop peas should still be producing but remove any overlarge pods. Lift your maincrop potatoes this month and continue to pick runner and French beans. Cut cauliflower heads before the tiny florets start to open. When harvesting celery, water the plants first so they retain their crispness. Pick cucumbers before they become too large and harvest your salad leaves regularly.  Continue to pick perpetual strawberries and autumn fruiting raspberries. Start to pick Cape gooseberries (physallis) when the outer husks become papery.


There is not much to sow this month but you could continue to sow salad leaves and radishes, rocket and spring onions. Try a final sowing of spinach but bear in mind you might need to put cloches over all of them if the weather turns cold.


Any spring cabbage seedlings need to be transplanted into their final growing positions this month. Also plant out any new strawberry plants grown from runners or bought from a nursery. Plant over-wintering onion sets this month or next. Try growing cranberries but plant the bush in ericaceous compost.


Continue watering all your crops if the weather is dry. Pick ripe tomatoes and cut off the lower leaves of the plant if they look yellow; pick any remaining green tomatoes by the end of the month to ripen at home. Cut down asparagus to one inch above the ground. Earth up or stake all Brussels sprouts and winter brassicas. Ripen pumpkins and squashes by removing a few leaves to allow the sunlight to reach the fruit. Continue to water and feed them until you are ready to pick. Feed and trim celeriac,  removing any dead leaves at the base. Prune the finished fruiting stems of blackberries and tie in the new canes for next year. As potato stems die back, cut them down to two inches with a sharp knife; lift them on a dry day. Destroy diseased or rotting leaves to avoid spreading infection but compost other debris.