Once the first frosts had arrived the sudden collapse of the squash and nasturtium plants looked particularly catastrophic this autumn since they were sprawled over fairly large sections of the plot.
I eagerly cleared these away in order to gain access to the composted material from beneath where they grew, but then the unseasonably warm October weather has prompted the new nasturtium seeds to sprout and the plants now stand several inches tall, marching across the soil in even greater numbers.
Other plants have also benefitted from the warm autumn weather which has given crops like the garlic and broad beans a head start before winter arrives. Sets of onions are planted in a bed which I have raised up by adding well rotted compost from the heap to avoid the risk of flooding that happened last year. I have also placed wire mesh over the top so that the soil is not disturbed by squirrels and the onions have a chance to begin to put down roots.
Despite my best efforts the crops of celeriac and Florence fennel have not done well and all my previous attempts have so far also failed. The celeriac plants have fine, bushy leaves but only a small base and perhaps required more water and a mulch during the summer. Likewise, the fennel bulb needs enough water to allow it to swell, but I shall have another go at growing these next year.
There have been several hedgehog sightings at the allotment over the summer. They are useful animals to have around the plots since their diet includes snails and slugs but they will now be preparing to spend the winter asleep in a burrow of grass and leaves.