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Wellington Field Allotments Hixon


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By Mrs FM


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Alan J Hartley



A Job For The Winter.

Some weeks ago I heavily pruned a large Crab Apple Tree at home and decided to recycle as much of the branches and twigs as possible. Apart from chipping, or chopping up all the very thin stuff as a homemade “Bark chips,” substitute, I had the brainwave of making my own “Log Rolls,” to edge my stone path on the allotment. The branches were trimmed by hand and cut into 9 inches lengths that consisted of pieces that were not as straight as they might have been and which were also full of knots. Of course another mistake was not measuring the cuts accurately and not taking enough care to sort the lengths when they were assembled. I did keep one edge straight though even if the opposite end looked as crooked as a dogs hind leg, but with care it won’t look too bad when it’s “planted,” because the jagged end will be hidden in the soil.

It was also a mistake to buy cheap fencing staples as they were very thin and bent easily making it difficult to get them in, although it was easier with the thicker pieces of wood, especially if they had no knots! I had previously thought it would be a good job for a cold day, but my frozen and numb fingers didn’t help with the assembly either! On the plus side two wire coat hangers opened out with pliers were an ideal length to hold the roll together and with the ends bent over made about a standard 3 foot length. Also I worked out that I would get about 3 lengths of “Log Roll,” out of the £2 packet of fencing staples. It was a lot of hard work though to make one questionable “Log Roll” for 60p when I could have bought a perfect one for about a fiver! Perhaps I will appreciate the effort when I have made the other 30 or so that I need for the path!

When I moved my fruit trees away from the boundary fence on my allotment so that they would be out of the way of the horse, I decided to replant the young cooking cherry near to the big old Crab apple at home so that in a few years I can cut the Crab Apple Tree down altogether and leave the cherry there which by then should have lots of blossom followed by useable fruit.

I had previously tried to establish a holly tree in the same place, but it didn’t really like it and was growing very slowly. When I dug the planting whole I found the ground was full of lots of builders rubble that had been buried there years ago. This wouldn’t have helped the holly, but the lime from the concrete will suit the cherry tree as they need some lime in the soil to make the stones in their fruit.

I don’t have any stoned fruit on my allotment at all now, but do have others at home and have just hung fleeces on the Peach, Apricot and Quince to protect their early flowers from cold frosty winds. The buds have started to develop very early this year, but hopefully the recent cold spell has stopped them developing any further as there are no insects about at all yet, apart from the whitefly that still covers the winter veg on some allotments!