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Week 41

Things you can do this week Clean up around roses removing all dead leaves. Any long branches that are without late flowers can be pruned back by one third of their length to prevent too much wind rock through the winter. It's now getting late to plant daffodils, so if you didn't get them planted in August or September do it now! Sow broad beans. Plant out spring cabbage. Prepare ground for planting garlic.

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Gardening diary week 41

October 7th - October 14th

Links to weeks throughout the year 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52

Sowed the first of the broad beans that will crop next year.

Thursday 12th October 2006 It has been a lovely warm still day. I am now getting back into serious digging mode spring cabbages need to be planted out and it is time to start sowing the autumn sown broad beans again. I save my own seed from year to year and over the years it has become a bit of a mixture of varieties. However, they are all from plants that made it through the previous winter so they must be hardy enough to stand out current weather conditions.
Bought half a dozen spring cabbage plants.
Dug up taeberry and split into two plants.
Tuesday October 11th 2005 It was warm like a mid summers day at lunchtime today - indeed it was much warmer than most of our August days this year. I put some extra supers on several of the bee hives as they were so busy making honey. I watered the seedling onions that I planted out on Sunday as it is difficult to see when we may get rain again.
Monday October 10th 2005 Another warm sunny day. I'm digging an area to sow broad beans in but I guess this warm weather means that there is no real rush to get them sown.
Sunday October 9th 2005 another wonderful warm sunny day. Possibly a little dry for planting out onion seedlings - so I'm now hoping for rain. My Abutilon vitifolium cutting have rooted well and I've planted out one pot full (8 or 9 plants) in a corner in the allotment greenhouse. I first planted this shrub in the garden just a couple of years ago (internal link) and it has grown rapidity to become a large 12 ft high plant. The strongest large growing tips to the main branches made the most successful cuttings although many of the smaller side shoots were also successful. I've started digging an area to sow the Autumn broad beans in.
Saturday October 8th 2005 The Japanese onion seed sown at the beginning of August germinated well and I'm going to plant out some of the seedlings this weekend. This is earlier than I have done it before so it will interesting to see what kind of results I get.
I taken another load of honey of the Old Costesey hives today. It seems there is no end to honey production this year.
October 10th 2004 Planted 4 snowdrops Sam Arnott. Planted 50 Crocus tommasinianus Ruby Giant (on the left) and 50 Whitewell Purple (on the right) of the central old Worcester Pearman apple tree in my allotment that I have been pruning into shape for years now. The crocus have been planted for the bees. Planted four rows of broad beans in Geoff's extra allotment apiary. The ones planted last year were pulled after cropping extra muck dug in and two rows of leeks planted in their place which are ready for cropping anytime now but go on growing until the spring.
Sunday 11th October 2003 Planted out the last of the Japanese onion sets. I now have five rows in all planted on three dates the first ones planted are already three or four inches high we will see which ones if any decide to bolt next year . Finished planting the garlic that I started yesterday. I have planted my garlic earlier this year than I have in previous years but I don't think it will make much difference.
Saturday 10 October 2003 I have an old oil drum water butt that can no longer function due to numerous holes so I have started to use it for burning the weeds. The resulting ash is easy to apply back to the ground. I haven't done much burning in the past preferring to compost rather than burn but I am now having a blitz on those annoying creeping weeds like spear grass and columbine . I have planted a long row of garlic where there were potatoes last year and further on stretching under the apple tree I have also cleared and dug over the ground under the tree top dressed it with the ash (as I did the garlic) from my burning bin but so far put nothing in it.
Sunday 7th October Potatoes are a great crop to grow if you want to clear the ground of weeds. I was thinking about this piece of advice as I was digging my main crop potatoes today. Not a great crop, as the seed was purchased and planted out late in the season. They were, however, still worth digging up even though the foliage suffered from the blight and I had to cut the tops off and burn them earlier in the summer. After a wet year like this one, ideal for blight, it will be more important next year to be ruthless on removing the volunteers and not allow them grow on with the possibility carrying this year's infection forward to next year. After digging the potatoes and weeding as I went the soil was in ideal condition for sowing onion sets. I haven't fed the soil for this crop as yet intending to give them some well-rotted compost in the spring. Although I may only liquid feed them. I'm bringing home dried seed pods on every visit the allotment now, from the low growing French beans, the stick grown Blue Lake, my Piebald Pea Beans, and of course the Laslett Black Improved runner bean. All get sorted by number of seeds in a pod, put into a paper bag, and stored in a kitchen draw in a shoe box. (If anybody is interested in swapping seeds please email me: It will soon be time to sort through the seed box and take out the Broad Bean seed for this year's autumn sowing (normally around the 6th of November for me).Autumn sown Broad Beans must be just the about the most successful crop on my plot. They take a week or two to come through the ground after sowing and grow slowly through the winter. They have few fatal pests apart from the mice that like to dig them up for a winter-feed. In spring they provide a feast for some insect that notches the leaves all around the edges, but this meal doesn't seem to do the beans any harm. They are easy to look after and don't require large amounts of fertiliser if your soil is in good shape, except a few handfuls of wood ash applied between the rows during the winter. I sow mine in double rows that I can hoe between and each bean about eight to ten inches apart.
Autumn sown beans are much less likely to play host to the black bean avid and can easily have their tips nipped out if there is any sign of black fly. The seed, after your first year, costs nothing, as it is so easy to save your own seed. If the rows are well hoed and weeded in the begging of the year there are few weeds that can compete with the beans once the they get growing. After the bean plants have cropped they have nitrogen nodules on the roots so the stems can be cut off a few inches from the ground and left to dry up (the tops being removed to the compost heap) whilst a row of Sprouting broccoli or winter cauliflower planted in the space between the two rows. The soil that was hoed all through the previous winter, is one stretch of ground that doesn't need digging again until after the brassica have finished, by which time the soil will need some organic matter dug in again (although you can, of course, pull all the plants up and prepare the soil again and plant in clear ground).
Potatoes or onions could then grown in that stretch of ground before the beans are sown there again.

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