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Wellington Field Allotments Hixon


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Wind And Sun.

For the last couple of weeks of May going into June it has been extremely windy, dry weather with barely any rain and then only an occassional light shower. Because of the strong gusts I decided that, where I had planted some Cape Gooseberies with only the short green split canes to secure the plastic bottles, (home made rabbit guards) I would go round and replace them with longer canes.  That sensible action stopped the bottles from being blown away into the next field where there was a large flock of sheep with their young lambs and also saved the plants from the rabbits. However, one stupid act born out of desperation for water one sunny day caused me to have to replace quite a few of my bean plants. In need of water for my recently planted seedlings, I went to the large cattle trough and found it was empty as the builders hadnít turned on the water before finishing for the weekend. In panic I turned to the builders own water tanks that they dip their buckets into when making cement. Stupidly, I could see the layer of cement sediment in the bottom, but used the water anyway. Obviously, the lime in the water burnt and killed several plants. I should have known better and will not need to be taught that lesson again! Using a watering can to water plants that has been used for weed killer beforehand can teach the same lesson!

Some of my plants are doing well though and on a happier note, the various currant and gooseberry bushes that had been grown in pots before planting, actually have a few currants on them that they havenít dropped even though it has been so dry. Also, the old Chryanthemum stools, that had all of their leaves stripped by the rabbits before they had home made guards put on, are growing and leafing up nicely. My Pink Fir Apple potatoes are doing well as are the Angelica and Jerusalem Artichokes, without the need for extra watering. Even the raspberries have started to shoot a little more enthusiastically, although I donít know if they will grow enough to produce any fruit this year!

Optimistically, I am still planting the last part of the plot and have put in several rows of Cape Gooseberries along with a tiny Fig tree cutting which I have rooted this year and a Goji berry vine seedling that has been growing very slowly in a pot for a couple of years at home.

On a different note, determined not to do too much digging and bending, I have started to use a long handled hoe occasionally on the weeds as they start to sprout. Here the strong sun has been an advantage, because the weeds soon burn up if left on the ground, so they donít even need to be picked up! I am hoping for some wetter weather in the coming weeks though.
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