Go To Intro

Wellington Fields Allotments - Hixon.


Plough Field Allotments at Amerton

Gardening Tips
By Mrs FM

Unusual & Old
Fashioned Fruit

Herbs & Other
Edible Plants.

Environmental Issues And Going Green.

Vines And Other Climbing Plants.

Fish Ponds

Books By
Alan J Hartley



A Late Season.

We seem to have had a long Winter this last year that has been never ending. For the odd week temperatures have been above average only to be followed the next week by cold weather again with night frosts and the odd Sleety days. Some plants have started to shoot and then been cut back, but many have just sat there waiting for warmer days. Several times Farmers have featured on the TV saying that the season is a good 4 weeks behind times this year with crops going in very late. Many Allotmenteers had not planted their Early Potatoes by the end of April, nor had many planted any Onion Sets. Daffodils were late flowering and when they did they were over in a few days instead of going on for a week, or two. Blossom on the Fruit trees appears to be doing better though with my Plum putting on a good show and although it has been cold, there have been bees about looking for food, so hopefully, as the other Blossom opens the Bees will do their job and a good crop of Fruit will follow. Some years the Fruit blossom is too early and there are no insects to pollinate it, so from that point of view perhaps things aren’t so bad. Nature often has a way of balancing things out and crops often catch up, although, with a shorter growing season, yields may be a bit less with smaller vegetables, etc. 

My Globe Artichokes looked very sad at the beginning of May, but did have signs of fresh growth coming out of the frost killed foliage. Normally, at this time, they would be full of lovely, long, luxuriant leaves and the first “Heads,” would be developing. At the time of writing this at the end of April, my Asparagus is also not showing any signs of shooting and is very late coming into growth. Although, the same as last year, two other Plot Holders are doing better with their first “Spears,” ready for cutting. Many people forget that there are different varieties of most things all with their own particular growing habits. This is true of both Asparagus and Rhubarb with some varieties shooting earlier than others and some giving heavier crops with thicker stems. My Rhubarb did start shooting earlier on and then just sat there, but I did get my first real good picking at the end of April.
Another early to harvest crop was the Sea Kale and I have to confess that, even though I remembered to put the buckets over it towards the official end of Winter, I neglected it and didn’t harvest many stalks. It would have been a poor crop anyway, because when I earthed up the bed, that had had its level depleted, it caused the buried Crowns to bolt when they started into growth resulting in short, useless stems, instead of nice long ones. As the flower stems develop I will cut them off to encourage leaf growth that will energise the plants for next year. The Crowns should then be sat on the surface and crop better next Spring.

As for the tender plants on my Allotment, my Olive tree was hit hard by the cold Winter and has lost most of its leaves as have the two fruiting Myrtles and my precious Acca Selowiana which is actually closely related to the Myrtles. There are a few green and healthy leaves on each of the plants, but not many. I just hope there is enough life left in them to get them back into full growth again. I should have wrapped them all in Horticultural Fleece like I usually do, but with the house move and everything else that has been going on, I simply forgot. The Olive tree at home however, is doing much better so, maybe, it is a different variety. The two trees were bought at different times and I know one is supposed to be the European variety and quite hardy, but the other may not and consequently has suffered badly.

My vegetables from seed have not done very well either, partly due to all the Snow we had earlier getting into the greenhouse overnight through a door that had blown open and partly due to the ensuing neglect as staff couldn’t get to the site and poor watering. Some trays were sown in Loam based compost instead of the usual Peat based, which didn’t help. I know most, enthusiastic, old school Gardeners swear by Loam Based Compost, but it does need more careful watering whereas peat based is more forgiving.
With the total failure of my Beetroot seeds I have only just sown them directly into the ground instead, along with my Parsnips that have also gone in late, but as everything else is I am hoping it won’t matter. I keep reminding myself that the first year our Allotments were set up, we didn’t take possession of them until the middle of May and we all had some good crops.


Click Here For Information