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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.

Books By
Alan J Hartley



Harvesting The Fruit.

Last year I planted a number of fruit bushes in one of my plots as I knew I was going to get another one to make up for the space that the fruit would take. Perhaps I went a bit over board with the number of my bushes as we have already picked something like 16 lbs of Gooseberries for the freezer and we are still picking Black, Red and White Currants as they ripen on the different bushes. There has been a real problem with Gooseberry Sawfly, but it didn’t really affect the fruit, although the leaves were stripped on all the Red and White Currants and Josta Berries as well as the Gooseberries. Interestingly, the Black Currants don’t seem to be affected by the Saw Fly at all.

My Strawberry planting was definitely over the top as my brother managed to pick 3 bucketful’s of ripe Strawberries besides all the punnets that I picked! Originally, I bought only half a dozen Strawberry plants and potted up the “Runners,” to increase my numbers. My Strawberry patch was originally planted up with only 4 rows of 6 plants that in the space of a couple of seasons have made a solid mass of plants and resulted in the huge quantity of fruit. Consequently, I am going to remove 2 of the alternate rows in the Autumn to make a space between the remaining rows. My brother has said he will have some of the plants with the others already being earmarked for another plot holder.

Hopefully, my smaller planting of White Strawberries, (that came from just one plant with its “Runners,”) will start to produce fruit the following season when the older red Strawberries start to become less productive and need to be really sorted out. 

It is too early for my “Late,” Raspberries, but the plants are looking good and seem to be settling in nicely with some good growth after being replanted. I did intend to dig in a strip of “Weed control membrane,” round the Raspberries and between the red and yellow varieties to stop the roots spreading, but that hasn’t been done yet. It is another one of those good ideas that I never seem to put into practice!

When I got my new plot and did all my fruit planting I decided to put some fruit trees in as well. Most allotments don’t permit trees as they can get too big and cause shade, but in their wisdom, our committee decided to permit fruit trees as long as they are dwarfed and kept below 2 metres in height. At home I had 3 small fruit trees that had been “£5 specials,” bought from one of these discount shops and had been planted in and subsequently dug up from my plot at Amerton when that site closed. The idea is to train these trees with their branches growing outwards by tying them down to posts and horizontal wires rather than letting them grow skywards. So, I planted those along with a tiny Fig tree grown from a cutting and a poor specimen of a Medlar that had been heavily discounted at a garden centre to clear it. With these trees I planted 3 Tayberries that are supposed to give better fruit than Logan Berries.

Until the trees grow and the roots spread robbing the soil around them, I decided to maximise my growing space by planting in between the trees for this year and perhaps the next. Dahlias, both Red and Yellow Tomatoes, along with Cape Gooseberries have filled the spaces. I did want to train a couple of trees along the allotments external boundary fence, but as it was pointed out the horses in the adjoining paddock would simply chew them to bits! So, I have put in 2 thorny Blackberries down the fence which hopefully the horses won’t bother with.

Elsewhere on my plots my Grape Vines are putting on some growth as they have loved all the heat we have had and are at last beginning to travel along the training wires that I put up in the Winter. I only put up single wires for them because that is all we are allowed between plots, although technically the wires are slightly away from my boundary so that I can get along them to pick my grape harvest from the sunny South facing side! They won’t fruit again this year, but I am expecting better things from them next season when they should be just that bit more established with a better root system and they will have developed some fruiting spurs.

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