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Plough Field Allotments.


Wellington Field Allotments Hixon


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By Mrs FM


Unusual & Old
Fashioned Fruit


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Alan J Hartley



Plenty Of Mulching.

When I first started planting the allotment it was always my intention to mulch round the plants and bushes as much as I could to suppress the grass and other weeds. I knew the Raspberries would produce enough of their own dead stalks each year, after they are pruned in the Winter, to keep up a good quantity of bark like chippings for themselves, but I did wonder how I was going to produce any quantity in the first season. Of course I needn’t have worried because the harsh Winter has provided a lot of dead stems to chop up at home from the more tender trees and bushes. One of my “Strawberry Trees,” or Arbutus Unedo has died and been chopped, but the other survived almost untouched in a different part of the garden. A White and a special, yellow Buddleia, (not Globbosa) have both died back very badly, although I have saved a small branch on each. Two rows of 4 foot high Bay Trees seemed to be all dead, but as I started to remove them, some still had green at their bases, so I left about half and after a few weeks they are starting to shoot from below ground as is the small “Ice Crystal Fig.” My Mother’s pride and joy in the shape of a 10 foot high common “Brown Turkey Fig” was slow leafing up and had about a foot of die back on each stem, but is now growing well, although I don’t think there will be much fruit this year. Hopefully, the small “Brown Turkey” fig I planted on the allotment will get through next Winter. Taking a lesson from the “Ice Crystal’s” survival though, I will make a mound of soil round the base of the trunk when next Winter comes and perhaps that will protect it enough to let it shoot again. I understand that traditionally the French planted their more delicate varieties of Fig trees in such a way that they could bury the whole trees each Winter for protection from the cold.

All of these dead bushes and prunings from home have been patiently cut up with small loppers and secateurs, and provided lots of buckets of home made chippings to go on the plot to suppress the weeds and help retain the moisture in the long dry Spring.

As we entered June though, a short spell of wet weather, with no more night frosts, was predicted, so I put in about 2 dozen outdoor red Tomato plants and a few yellow. With space starting to become limited on the plot, I planted them between my young currant bushes that I knew wouldn’t need much room this year. The leaves on Tomatoes plants are poisonous, but then so are Chrysanthemums and the rabbits were happy to eat those. However, they have not been touched and I was interested to note that the plot of one of my neighbours has young broad bean plants that have been left alone as well.

It is an added source of interest in trying to grow plants and outwit the Rabbits at the same time, but at least I don’t have Moles on this plot as I do on my plot in Hixon!