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Plough Field Allotments.


Wellington Field Allotments Hixon


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By Mrs FM


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Alan J Hartley



Some Successes.

At the start of the season, in my haste to plant my climbing beans and erect the supports, I had simply joined some short canes together, instead of going out and buying canes of a suitable length.  The strong winds we had the other week blew them down and made such a tangled mess that I decided to remove the beans altogether, although it was really too early. However, I was impressed with the way that they had grown after such an appallingly dry spring when they were planted. The packet had claimed that the yellow bean variety, “Goldfield,” was drought tolerant and I will certainly give them another try next year. With that in mind I have dug out a trench and refilled it with a mixture of soil and half a dozen bags of well rotted compost brought from home to help the beans along a bit. Next time the supporting canes will be 6 foot and will be securely anchored to give them proper support that won’t blow down!

About 30 straggly Tomato plants went in quite late when I first had the allotment, but they have also started to crop surprisingly well. The red variety “Gardeners Delight,” has been well proven for growing outside for decades, but the yellow variety, “Golden Sunrise,” has also proved itself by producing some reasonable sized ripe tomatoes with many more to come. In fact they started to ripen before the red. Perhaps more to the point the tomatoes have proved to be rabbit proof and so more will be planted again next year!

Having just made the last picking from the Rhubarb plants before the winter, they will now be rested before being divided and replanted later, on after the first frosts have got at them. The stalks are getting a bit tough, but are fine if they are frozen, to be used later on in the winter, in cooking, to make crumbles and pies.

Another success story was the “Pink Fir Apple” potatoes that also cropped very well from just one small row. However, several people that tried them thought that they didn’t really taste any different and were they were more expensive than ordinary potatoes. Their extremely knobbly shapes always cause much interest though, and many questions, including the obvious one, “How do you peel them?” The answer seems to be to simply scrub the very knobbly ones well and peel the more ordinary ones.

The red raspberries have been a disappointment with no real quantity of fruit, but that was to be expected as they went in so late. However, most of them have established themselves, with only a few losses, and they have made good canes for next year. Both types, the yellow and the red, are “Lates,” so I have planted 3 “Tayberry” canes that are a little different as they are a cross bred type between a Raspberry and Blackberry and also fruit earlier in the season.

Both the Onions and Garlic bulbs that were dug up first, did well, and proved to be rabbit proof, so I have split a couple of Garlic bulbs, saved from this season, into cloves and planted about 30 or so, in pots to start them off for next. When the “Late” potatoes are dug up, (Before Xmas) the Garlic will be planted out, and in the new-year they will be inter-spaced with onions, in the same patch. I am going to try onions from seed next season which means sowing the seed around Christmas time so they can be transplanted outside in the Spring.

Hopefully, next year I will have a better idea what to plant on the site that will be rabbit proof and with some winter preparation that will involve digging in some good compost, the harvest will be even better!