Roehampton Garden Society

October jobs on your allotment


Maintaining soil and structures and planning ahead

  • Continue to clear the ground of this summer’s growth, weeding as you go.
  • Turn the compost heap to speed its decomposition.
  • Compost fallen leaves in hessian bags. Compost pea and bean foliage,but leave the roots in the ground as they contain nitrogen.
  • Plan where you will grow brassicas next year. Manure the area now and lime in the spring if the ph level is below 7.
  • To maximise light levels and reduce harbouring of bugs, clean the green house with eco-friendly detergent. Garden disinfectant such as Jeyes Fluid can be used in a greenhouse or a sulphur candle if resident bugs are suspected.
  • Make a last cut on grass paths and reinstate beds where grass has encroached.
  • Apply grease bands around the trunks of fruit trees as a barrier to winter moths.
  • Order bare-rooted fruit trees to be delivered November onwards. (See guidance on website and contact Site Secretary)
  • Check that the bird netting on brassicas is secure in preparation for more wintry weather.
  • Collect seeds of plants that have not been harvested. Peas and beans save well. Collect directly from the plant on a dry day to avoid fungal rot and put straight into paper bags.

Sowing and planting

  • Winter salads and oriental greens can be sown in the green house or cold frame.
  • Sow over-wintering broad beans either directly or start under cover in pots or root-trainers.
  • Sow green manures such as rye, vetches or ryegrass to be dug in next February.
  • Plant overwintering onion sets and garlic. Soil must be well drained. Onion sets should just peep above the surface. If the ph is lower than 7 add a little calicified seaweed. Plant garlic planted 1.5- 2”deep, spaced 7” apart. Both benefit from onion fertilizer.
  • Plant daffodils, alliums and other spring bulbs for early spring flowering. (Hold off planting tulips till November.)
  • Sow sweet peas in a cold frame or unheated greenhouse for early summer flowering and showing. Sow in root trainers or 3” pots.
  • Plant out spring cabbage 6” apart.
  • Take hardwood cuttings, 1ft long, from gooseberries and currants. Plant in pots of compost.


  • Harvest winter squashes. Cut the squash carefully leaving a 2-3” stem. ‘Cure’ in a warm, dry place for 10-14 days, then in a cool, light place at around 50-55F until ready to eat. Many squash can be stored for up to 6 months.
  • Store disease-free apples, pears and potatoes in a cool, dry place.
  • Ensure carrots are protected with insect mesh as carrot flies are most damaging in late summer and autumn. Leave in the ground to harvest as needed.
  • Harvest maincrop potatoes. Check each tuber for disease or damage and do not store damaged tubers. Store in a cool, dry place. Let the tubers dry off before storing in jute, hessian or paper bags in a dark frost-free place.


  • Lift and divide rhubarb plants that have been in situ for more than 5 years or are less productive. Keep and replant the newer outside growth and discard the centre.
  • Cut down asparagus stems as they turn yellow and mulch with well-rotted manure.
  • Clear away strawberry foliage to prevent build-up of pests and diseases.

Gardening for wildlife

  • Leave decorative perennial seed heads as food and habitats for wildlife
  • Build an insect hotel or install a log pile.




Autumn Show Results and Picture Gallery 2018

Read the list of 2018 Autumn Show First Prize Winners

Click on the gallery to view the show:-


This gallery contains 61 photos

A new venue for our AGM – 18th October

It’s the 18th October for our end of year round up and prize giving. This is a very social occasion, so please join us if you can.

A new venue for this year – Roehampton Cricket Clubhouse on Telegraph road, SW15 3TU.  Lots of car parking on site.

Welcome drinks and snacks from 6.30pm, the Meeting will start at 7pm followed by Prize Giving and Refreshments from 8pm.

We will also be electing a new committee to serve for the coming year and would welcome any nominations before Thurs 11 October.  Each candidate needs a proposer and a seconder. Please email to

RHS Shows this Autumn- some free

RHS Wisley Flower Show 4-9 September 2018
Free to members   –    Find out more Wisley-Flower-Show

Harvest Festival Show 2-3 October 10am-5pm
Full of ideas for the autumn garden. Free admission. Lindley Hall, SW1P 2QW – Find out more

The Urban Garden Show 26-28 October
See workshops, celebrate Halloween and pick up planting ideas for even the smallest of spaces…
Late evening Friday 26 October 2018, 5pm-10pm Admission £5.
Saturday 27 October, 11am-8pm and Sunday 28 October, 11am-6pm £5 for RHS Members, Public £8 in advance/£9 on day.
RHS Lindley Hall, SW1P 2QW and RHS Lawrence Hall SW1P 2QD Find out more



September 2018 Bulletin

Download and read our September 2018 Bulletin

  • Annual visit to Wisley
  • Rhubarb cake and tomato tart
  • Encourage those predators and beneficial insects
  • Anything out there for the Autumn show?

…and, thinking ahead, the store will soon have tulips, narcissi and allium bulbs for planting. Still time to sow some seeds – try rocket, kale and more…

September jobs on your allotment

  • Deep-dig out perennial weeds such as bindweed.  Keep weeding to prevent weeds seeding.
  • Begin to add well-rotted manure to bare areas.
  • Empty the compost bin by bagging up compost from the bottom of the bin or heap.  Store it ready for use next spring and start a new mix.
  • Spinach, coriander, rocket and parsley can all be sown until the middle of the month.
  • Sow fast-growing Oriental greens such as pak choi and mizuna.
  • Sow winter greens such as land cress, corn salad and hardy lettuce cultivars (including ‘Arctic King’ and ‘Valdor’) for spring picking. Sow kale for early spring harvesting and rocket for autumn harvesting.
  • Sow hardy annuals such as calendula officianalis in shallow drills for late spring flowering next year.
  • Sow green manures in vegetable beds that are to be left fallow for the winter.  When dug in they conserve nutrients and improve soil texture.
  • Sow broad bean varieties such as Aquadulce or Masterpiece Green Longpod in late September for harvesting in late May, early June.
  • Pot up strawberry runners to make new plants for next summer or plant out new strawberries.
  • Plant out spring cabbage.
  • Plant overwintering onion sets.
  • Plant daffodil bulbs for early spring flowering.
  • Start planting trees at the end of the month while the soil is still warm.
  • Harvest maincrop potatoes. Check each tuber for disease or damage and do not store damaged tubers. Store in a cool, dry place. Let the tubers dry off before storing in jute, hessian or paper bags in a dark frost-free place.
  • Store onions that have been dried in nets in well-ventilated conditions.
  • Continue to harvest sweetcorn.
  • Cut herbs for drying and use throughout the winter.
  • Continue picking autumn raspberries and blackberries.
  • Continue harvesting apples and pears. Store in a cool, well-ventilated place. Black, scabby blotches, distortion and cracking on apples and pears indicate scab disease. Affected fruit will not store well but can be eaten now.
  • Leave autumn squashes to ripen on the plant as long as possible. Place fruit on a wooden board or tile to prevent soiling.  Fruits are ready when richly coloured and ring hollow when tapped.
  • Protect leafy vegetable crops with bird netting.
  • Cut out the fruited canes of summer raspberries, blackberries, loganberries and tayberries. Leave the new green canes, as these will crop next year. Prune blackcurrants.  After picking autumn-fruiting raspberries, do not prune. Wait until late winter/ early spring to cut all the canes down to ground level.
  • Keep leeks protected with insect mesh against leek mining fly and leek moth.
  • Ensure carrots are protected with insect mesh as carrot flies are most damaging in late summer and autumn.
  • Water plants in the morning to help prevent fungal diseases.
  • Continue to feed and water tomatoes. Cropping can continue well into the autumn.
  • Clean the greenhouse to reduce overwintering pests.
  • In the greenhouse sow herbs, salad leaves such as pea shoots, beetroot and chard for winter leaves.
  • In ponds, thin out oxygenating and floating plants.  Leave debris at the side of the pond overnight so creatures can return to the water.
  • Apply grease bands to fruit trees at the end of the month to deter winter moth. (or try the new Fruit Tree Grease in the store)
  • Do not compost blight-affected foliage or tubers of potatoes and tomato plants. Do not add rose leaves affected with black spot to the compost heap.

Autumn Show 2018 – Schedule and Entry Form

The Autumn Show will take place on 8th September at 3.00pm in St. Margaret’s Church Hall, Putney Park Lane. We hope the sunshine has encouraged some good crops this year.

Autumn Show Schedule 2018
Autumn Show Entry form 2018
Rules for Competitions and Shows

We would welcome cakes and biscuits for the refreshment stall, preserves for the produce stall, along with cuttings and plants. Also tombola items, including any for children. Please do come along to support, enjoy the show and meet your fellow allotmenteers.
If you could volunteer to help on Saturday, or particularly to set up the hall on Friday evening (7th Sept) please email or let Carol Martinez know.

RHS top 10 tips for caring for your garden in this hot dry weather

With the recent wave of hot, dry weather across the UK you might have noticed your garden starting to wither. RHS Chief Horticulturist, Guy Barter, has some top tips for caring for your garden at a time when water is at a premium.

  1. Trees may shed leaves indicating stress but it is seldom fatal. Established shrubs, roses and climbers don’t usually need watering either.
  2. Consider re-using water from your home. Wastewater from the kitchen, baths, basins and showers is suitable to water plants and containers.
  3. Water newly planted trees and shrubs as a priority. Ensure the root ball is wet, checking with a trowel if necessary.
  4. Where planting is essential and can’t be delayed; puddle plants in, fill the planting hole with water (or better, ¼ strength liquid fertiliser) and allow to drain several times before setting out plants.
  5. A good soak, to wet the root zone, every 10 days in July and 14 days in August is best. Watering little and often is generally more work, less effective and wasteful of water. However, a ‘good soak’ can mean the equivalent of four 9L / 2gallon watering cans per square metre / yard.
  6. Move small pots and hanging baskets into the shade. Suspend hanging baskets over a potted plant so run-off water gets used.
  7. Lawns may brown, but although the leaves die the grass remains alive, ready to regrow once the rain returns. So watering them is not essential.
  8. Greenhouses, conservatories and polythene tunnels easily overheat. So boost shading and even remove some panes of glass to reduce temperatures.
  9. Target water where it is most needed. Camellia and rhododendrons lay down buds in late summer, so a good soak every so often then will help.
  10. Warmth will speed up composting so there should be plenty of excellent compost this winter. Add some water, however if the mix looks dry.

Read more about Making your garden more drought resistant