Wellington Fields Allotments - Hixon.
In Where Fools, etc!
to the TV the Asparagus season has been terrible this year with firstly
a dry start followed by too much wet. Crops are said to be disastrous,
but my first batch of plants, that were put in my allotment last Spring,
have yielded some 20 stalks already. A local farm shop, situated on a
canal bank in a nearby village that grow their own, seem to have plenty
of Asparagus for sale as well. In fact they seem to be doing a much
better range of locally grown vegetables altogether, now that they have
redeveloped the site. As well as the seasonal pick your own fruit, they
always sold some vegetable plants in the past along with a few bedding
plants, but now they have also opened a separate retail plant nursery
shop on the site. To make even more of a visit, there are plans to build
a new café later and the whole site backs on to a new purpose built
marina behind the greenhouses.
back to my allotment. I have Planted my Globe Artichokes that eventually
arrived through the post and was disappointed to find that they were not
crowns, but only seedlings which I could have grown myself for a
fraction of the price. It pays to read the text in adverts properly!
will definitely have to wait until next year before I can cut any
Asparagus bed is in front of the strawberries and next to the Globe
Artichokes and my perennial Welsh Onions, or Ciboule at the side of
them. Hopefully all of this block of plants are going to be in for a few
years at least, and with the need to walk between them, I decided to
cover the whole area with bark chippings. Not only will they be a good
surface to walk on, but they will suppress the weeds and help to keep
the moisture in. Bags of chips can be very expensive, but I heard of
some very cheap bags of chips being sold on Cannock Chase in a little
old fashioned nursery where they make their own. At only £2 for a big
bag they seemed a bargain, but when I got them back to the allotments I
realised they were made from Pine. Bark chips will remove nitrogen from
the soil anyway and pine is even worse because they are poisonous to
most plants. That is why not much grows in an old pine forest. Having
bought them and put them down I am going to take a chance, but it pays
to be cautious of bargains!
I had to abandon my allotment in the next village and dig up lots of
fruit bushes and trees that were all potted and taken home as I didn’t
have enough space on my plot at Hixon. You really shouldn’t uproot
plants, especially large bushes and trees, when they have leafed up, so
some have really suffered. The smaller currents don’t look too bad,
but the fruit trees look awful with all of their leaves shrivelled up.
Hopefully, the dormant buds will throw out new leaves later on when the
roots have had chance to recover. In the meantime I am keeping them in a
very shady and sheltered spot, so the sun doesn’t dry them and the
wind doesn’t rock them in their pots.