Gardening in the Wychwoods

‘Hare today, gone tomorrow’ is what they say. The hare raises a complete range of opinions amongst allotmenteers, ranging from ‘get rid of it’ to ‘how lovely’.  One seems to have taken up daytime residence on my plot and I am in the ‘live and let live’ camp – it’s safe with me.  Some blame it (there may be several as I can’t tell one hare from another) for a lot of damage to crops, but I have suffered very little so I am inclined to think it is unfairly blamed – it will nibble some stuff but not much as far as I can tell.  So, I like to see it and if we choose to provide the hare equivalent of a supermarket shelf it seems a bit churlish to complain about the odd item being taken.  We can always protect stuff we don’t want to share.  I end my address for the defence of the hare Your Honour.   

The next 2 months outdoors

Now, the Editor says I should tell you what jobs you need to think of doing in the next two months in your garden or allotment in the vein of Monty Don. I have to say his ‘jobs to do’ bit always incenses me. Nonetheless, the Editor reigns supreme, so here goes.  

First, sit back and do nothing. Think about what went well, what was unsatisfactory and what, if anything, you want to do about it.

Then, here are a few tips:

  • If you haven’t ordered any seeds or plants, this is probably a good time to do it, especially as Brexit and Covid could cause some shortages, so get in early.
  • If you have areas of bare ground, it is a good idea to mulch them with whatever mulch suits you, manure, compost or a decorative mulch such as bark.
  • Alternatively, you could sow a cover crop such as winter tares to protect the soil and put fibre and nitrogen into it for next year’s plants; October is not too late. 
  • Finally, think about those plants, both ornamental and fruit, that will require a winter prune. As they become dormant just do a gentle tidy while it’s not too cold, taking out crossing or unwanted branches. I always think it is worth leaving the final prune until early spring when you can see if the winter has caused any dieback and then cut back to good wood.

Now sit back and warm up.  You can now complain bitterly about me and I’ll moan at Monty (and the Editor) but keep your eyes open for future MUWAGA meetings which may be online or live.

Happy gardening.

Tony Lewis

October-November 2021