I love autumn on the plot. Most of the plants are finishing off and I get to start clearing the beds and tidying the plot ready for a long winter.
The double compost heap was turned with the most processed compost transferred back to the plot, leaving us with one full heap ready to be tucked up for the long process of decay, and a brand new empty bin for the seasons ahead.
In the cleared beds we spread compost and manure and started topping with newspaper and grass mowings in order to recreate the forest gardening technique that worked so well with my beans. Unfortunately I can’t produce anywhere near enough grass for a quarter acre of mulch so this topping off process will take an absolute age and realistically won’t be complete by the start of the growing season.
I’ve planted some field beans in there as well, which should all add to the organic matter when I chop them down in their prime.
I need to do everything I can to break up the clay in the far bed. This year we had beetroot growing in there. They did well till the sun came out and the bed cracked like crazed paving. Beetroot globes, once stood proud but now slumped half in, half out of a gaping chasm.
I suspect they would do better with a deeply nourished fine tilth and that is now my main allotment focus.
Hopefully by May we will have a completely renewed growing medium.
If that wasn’t enough back breaking work for one day, we then dragged the tiller over one bed and planted onion sets and a couple of rows of Aquadulce broad beans.
After that we collapsed on the grass path and squealed our way through an allotment yoga session.
I still haven’t recovered the ability to touch my toes though.