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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



More Harvesting.

Potato Blight often hits at the end of June, or the beginning of July, but our odd weather seems to have been kind to the crop this year with very little sign of it anywhere on the Allotments. However, if your Potatoes do get Blight, remove the top growth and leave the Potatoes in the ground where they should be safe if they are not already infected. Indeed they say that taking the tops off the Potatoes, and leaving them in the ground for a couple of weeks afterwards, thickens their skins making them keep better. The dry spell earlier on did mean that the tops on my Potatoes were not so big, but as July finished I did start to dig a few up and the Potatoes were OK, if perhaps a bit small.
Some years my Potatoes get holes eaten into them by pests, which in the past I have put down to “Earthing them up,” with part rotted compost. This time I didn’t use additional Compost as I hadn’t got any ready, but simply used the soil around the rows to “Earth them up,” and the Potatoes are fairly clear of any damage. I guess the woody material in the Compost used to encourage the pests.
Talking of problems with pests, my Gooseberry bushes did not get stripped of their leaves by the Gooseberry sawfly this year, as usually happens. The leaves stayed on the plants, all through the development and ripening of the berries, right up until when they were picked. It was a good harvest with the berries having plenty of redness to them making them quite sweet in pies and crumbles so they did not need much sugar adding.

Next to harvest was the Black Currant crop which again had no real problems. Occasionally, if it is very wet, you sometimes get what look like Leeches, maggots and other assorted grubs on them, but this year there were no signs of any pests at all. I even managed to pick my Red Currants before the birds got to them!

The row of Grape Vines had put on masses of growth by the end of July, so I got my Secateurs out and cut great armfuls of foliage from them which exposed lots of embryo bunches of grapes all over the vines. Although many of the stems that I was cutting were yards in length I had to be careful not to cut the stems too close to the bunches, or else it would have caused them to wither and die. It won’t be for a few weeks yet, but it looks like being another bumper crop like last year. What the crop really needs is a late Autumn for best results which will give the Grapes a bit more time to ripen before being spoilt by frost as they don’t really mature until Autumn is well upon us.

Even my Turnips and Beetroot were not eaten by the mice this year, although many of the Turnips were a bit woody as they started to go to seed which was probably due to the dry spell we had earlier on.
My Parsnips are developing nicely as well with few spaces in the rows. I sowed the seed quite thinly which meant that I didn’t need to thin them out. Anyway the odd one gets pulled out when weeding so they do get thinned a little.
I have been picking a bountiful supply of Courgettes that are doing very nicely with the Squash plants growing slowly to follow on much later - hopefully. It won’t really be until the Autumn comes before they will be ready.
The Onions that I planted between the Runner Bean rows are also doing well and swelling nicely, although the beans have now starting to put some growth on and will shade them out in a couple of weeks. One thing that has been a failure was my dwarf beans where the seed did no good at all with none coming up. Admittedly, I did sow them in my greenhouse in the middle of the very hot spell that we had and that may have literally cooked them!

The Early – Summer raspberries, did much better this year with much better sized berries, although they are over now and the autumn ones are nearly ready with a few being picked already. Yet another success were my Tay berries which did quite well but never reached the freezer as I ate most of them while I was up there with a friendly little bird having the rest while I sat and watched from the bench situated next to them! The birds used to love my Goji berry bush and strip it bare every time as well, so that in the end I took it out. Although they favour red berries they also seem to love Black Berries that are starting to ripen, as you can seen from all the dark purple stained droppings everywhere round the bush!


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