A repeat of last October's weather was sadly not on the cards but on the whole the month passed with less rainfall than we have had for several months. In fact we even managed the odd consecutive couple of days without any of the wet stuff! It would be premature to celebrate as with winter not far away the garden and allotment are both absolutely sodden.
Starting with the allotment the good news is that I think that my plot passed muster when it was reviewed - I say think because you do not actually get formal notification to inform you. Anyway no more letters have come my way so I am highly relieved. Hopefully the elements will be kinder to us in the next growing year. I've tidied up bar from removing the debris of the courgettes and sweet corn, which will soon be assigned to the compost heap. I have garlic ready to plant which I'm hoping to get in this weekend. I also plan to sow some broad beans in pots and overwinter them at home before taking them up to plant at the allotment come spring. The two strawberry beds which we cleared are already sprouting forth fresh couch grass growth, so will need to be watched over with an eagle eye. We have decided that two strawberry beds is one too many so will be downsizing. I've been pouring over the catalogues and books making notes of varieties that I would like to grow. I am now at the stage of shortlisting the candidates.
The main jobs to do on the to do list overwinter is to clean and tidy the shed as well as to do more laying down of membrane and wood bark as the original stuff we put down has worn thin. We also plan to some more rabbit proofing - one of the local factories fills skips with surplus plywood boards which are kindly left for the public to help themselves to free of charge. Just right for what we want to do.
Back to the garden where I'm still debating which trees to plant in the newly created gabion garden area. No orders have been placed yet though so I will need to move sharply to get them planted this autumn. I also need to plant the bulbs which have been arriving in the post as well as occasionally coming home with me. I am determined to get them all in by the end of November. On day last last week I went through all the pots in the cold frames and inspected everything which will overwinter there. I am so glad that I did as in doing so I discovered a myriad not only of slugs but also their beady glistening eggs, which would have morphed into trouble in the spring. Now the plan is to move round the corner and tackle the greenhouse which is a job that I would prefer to do on a dry day.
If I stand at the back of the greenhouse in one direction I look out at the ash tree, which you can see part of in the above photo. We inherited it when we moved here and reckon that it is probably at least 60 years old and and at least a good 60 feet tall. As well as providing shelter for birds and other wildlife it provides us with a good degree of privacy from the neighbours behind and above us. Both Veg Plotting and Wellywoman have recently written excellent posts about the ash tree fungus disease, which already present in Europe, has now been identified affecting ash trees in East Anglia and which could potentially threaten up to eighty million ash trees in the U.K. I am sure that there will be many people keeping a close vigil over their ash trees in the coming months. I will report back here on the state of our tree.
On a happier note I am sure that there is much good news to share, plans in the making and great new plantings in over at other 'End Of The Month Views', kindly hosted each month by Helen over at ''The Patient Gardener's Weblog'.