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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




Moving Trees.

Last Autumn/Winter I spent a lot of time re-doing all of my different Climbers from the Grape Vines to the Sausage Vine including the Kiwi Vines and others. Most of them had new posts, were heavily pruned and were tied in with fresh strings. This year I have decided to re-organise many of my various fruit trees. Some I am going to remove and replace with other varieties, and some will be moved, while others will just need new posts. There will also be a certain amount of Winter pruning to do, particularly on the Apple Trees. I have done a little bit of harder pruning earlier and shaped up some of the younger trees. However, stoned fruit especially shouldn’t be pruned after the leaves have started to drop and the trees have started to shut down for Winter.

As the leaves started to fall one of the first things that I did was to dig up and pot some Elderberry tree saplings that I had bought in, bare root, last Winter. They have been growing on and rooting down in an empty part of one of my growing beds and have now put on lots of lovely new growth. They looked just like 12 inch sticks when I first planted them and I lost one out of the 5, but the remaining plants really do look like strong, healthy, small trees some 4, or 5 feet high. They were potted into large pots and I may take them to work, or offer them for sale when the Allotments have their fundraiser sales day in the Spring.

Of course with Autumn here and the leaves falling it is the ideal time to move and plant fruit bushes and trees and on that subject – I intend to plant an edible, and yet at the same time, ornamental Fig Tree called Pannachee. It will go in the spot where the very large, viciously thorned, Black-Berry came out of, by my Compost Heap. The tree has been growing in a special Fibre pot that was plunged into the soil on a vacant part of my Plot a couple of years ago. It is actually a cutting that was taken some time ago from a tree in my Mothers garden. This unusual Tree has some variegation on the leaves and also quite spectacularly on the figs themselves. I have never been able to pick any ripe Figs from it yet, but they are supposed to be edible. Not far from it, by my Cold Frame, I am also going to plant another ornamental Fig Tree of the variety called Ice Crystal. This tree was also grown from my own cutting. Fig leaves are normally quite showy anyway because of their large leaves that are “Palmate,” or shaped like a hand, but Ice Crystal’s leaves are more cut away in a pattern reminiscent of an ice crystal. The Tree does actually produce small Figs, but they are inedible.

Another tree that I am going to plant is a small, potted Mulberry Bush, which I bought over the internet. I did have a couple of smallish Mulberry trees in my Mother’s garden before I moved 2 years ago, but decided to leave them behind. One of the trees always fruited well with its red berries ripening to a dark black, but the other wasn’t productive at all. Like some fruits they do not pick well and I understand that commercially they shake the trees to harvest them and the berries are allowed to fall onto a tarpaulin spread beneath the tree so they can be safely gathered up. The berries are every bit as bad as Elderberries, Blackberries and Black Currants for the staining ability of their juice, but quite tasty and a different fruit to eat.

In my garden at Home I decided to remove a Robinia Frisia that I had grown earlier from seed. It was only about 3 feet high when I planted it 2 years ago, but had grown extremely well and was going skywards. They are supposed to be a relatively small tree that is said to be ideal for back gardens. However, the thorns on a bigger tree are absolutely vicious and not the sort of thing that you want where people can brush against it. On the corner of a bed, by the top of some steps in my garden, was definitely the wrong place for it. I might have been able to transplant it, but decided I had nowhere suitable, so have binned it and replaced it with a Rowan, or Mountain Ash. The normal Red Berried variety of Rowan can be seen everywhere, but there are Yellow and White berried types available. The white berried tree that I planted had been pot grown, so could have gone in at any time of year, but even so Autumn is the best time to plant any tree. My little tree had been grafted, so hopefully this means that its height will be restricted as that is often one of the reasons for grafting trees. Ordinary Rowans can get to some 20 or 30 feet, which classifies them as a small tree, but that would be too much for my garden. The berries look very tasty, but they should not be eaten, although birds and other wildlife love them. Before berries are produced Rowans have flowers that are highly scented which nobody ever seems to notice.

Also recently, I bought a small pot grown, evergreen, Strawberry Tree, or Arbutus Unedo to give it its proper name. It will be planted in my Allotment where a Variegated Myrtle was taken out. The Myrtle had gone to a new home and been planted in my front garden. The Arbutus will eventually get a little too tall for our 2 metre height regulation on our Allotments, but Strawberry Trees are fairly slow growing, so it should be alright for quite a few years until then. It is said that you can safely eat the berries although they look better than they taste as they are bland and woody and I speak from having eaten them several years running.
Incidentally, you are supposed to be able eat some varieties of Myrtle Berries, but my bush is too small yet to find out. On the other hand my Olive Tree that is in a tub on my yard at home, has produced some baby Olives for the first time which I am quite impressed with. Given the time of year, I don’t suppose they will fully develop and mature outside, but it is still fun to say that I have grown my own Olives!

The trees that I bought and planted at the start of the Month were all pot grown, but now the leaves are falling properly it is time to buy Bare Root Trees and bushes. Of course if the Growers can dig them up to sell them bare root it means that it is OK for me to finally remove a Plum Tree on my Allotment which didn’t like being trained Espalier style. With the constant pruning it never fruited very well as Plums don’t like being trimmed due to them fruiting on mature shoots. Before the leaves had fallen and I dug it out, I cut off the large, sideways growing branches to give it a more normal, upright shape. Hopefully, I will be able to re-plant it at work where it can be allowed to grow as a normal tree. It will be replaced with an Apple tree moved from elsewhere that had been temporarily crammed in where it didn’t fit after a last minute rescue when I moved house. It is being re-planted in a spot where I will be able to give it more room to spread out its branches and I will be able to train it Espalier style much better. The Apple should perform quite happily in place of the Plum as I normally do quite well with my trained Apple Trees of which I have quite a few of different sorts. Not being all the same variety means that they fruit at different times, although of course they all fruit sometime in the Autumn.


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