Autumn is here; darker evenings and a nip in the air. Our thoughts are turning to colder days and nights and planning for next season. However, there are still many vegetables that can be sown or planted out for over wintering. It is worth checking now, the condition of last year's fleece, cloches and winter protection so that you can plan for any cold spells that may be imminent.
There may be more harvesting to be done; pumpkins and squashes, main crops of potatoes, carrots and remaining beans. Green tomatoes may need to come indoors now to ripen. You could still be lucky enough to have fresh fruit ripening if it's a mild early autumn.
As the work begins to slow down, some general maintenance may be required on a fine, dry day like reorganising the shed, or addressing your water collection set-up.
Sometimes, plot access can become limited during the autumn and winter if the ground is very wet or frozen, and so it is worth considering taking items to and from your allotment plot before you have to travel on foot.
It is a good time for pruning some fruit trees and to plan for any dormant bareroots to be planted out in the coming few months.
It is also a good time to start treating your soil. You can dig over beds that are now vacant, adding in well-rotted compost and also add further mulching to plants that may benefit from it through the winter. Rid the plot of the last of the weeds and dying foliage from crops this year and try growing some green manure too. The winter frosts will help to break down lumps, so that in spring your soil will be more workable.
You can turn your compost heap, adding layers of the debris you find when clearing up the soil beds after the season's growth.
October is a good month for cleaning down the greenhouse; ridding it of pests and airing it before thinking about heat and insulation that may be required over winter.
Earth up growing brussels sprout plants to help support them; they may require additional stakes if they are located in a windy position.
Clear up canes, and equipment from around the plot.