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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




Preparing For The Winter

With Autumn on us and Winter approaching fast everybody on the allotments has been busy getting the last of their crops gathered in. Most things have done well, especially all things fruit, whether it was Apples, or Blackcurrants, Tomatoes or Courgettes. One thing that didn’t grow as hoped was the Ciboule, or Welsh Onions, which didn’t really divide after re-planting in the late Spring. It may have been too dry for them in the crucial growing time, but I won’t need to disturb them this next season so they can really settle in where they are all Winter and be ready to do their thing as the Spring comes round again. I am hoping that they will also help to deter the Gooseberry Sawfly, from my bushes growing around them, next season as well.

The recent wet spell has made the weeds seeds germinate and give one last burst of growth before the colder weather comes, but at the same time the wet softens the soil and makes it easier to clear of all the end of season rubbish and to weed properly before manuring and resting the soil over Winter. One problem that the wet has caused is that my Climbing Beans, on which the pods were supposed to dry off before harvesting, have started to go mouldy again. We shelled a big bowl full, but some have a tinge of brown on them and may not keep.
Where I took my Runner Beans down I decided to re-plant with something entirely different as they had been there for 3 years in a row. I am replanting with another of my exotic fruit trees, a Feijoa, or Acca Sellowiana. The tree was grown from seed so is not on a dwarfing rootstock, but it is planted in a “Rootex bag pot.” This is a special long life, flexible pot, made from a plastic type material, that has been chemically coated so that it’s sides chemically, rather than physically, repel the trees roots. This stops the roots from “Circling,” and stops large tap and other anchor roots from developing. The theory is that it in effect dwarfs the tree because of restricting its roots. Even if it doesn’t dwarf it much, I am hoping, that as the natural size of the tree is smaller rather than larger, it will keep it a manageable size. The Feijoa is an evergreen that is supposed to be grown as much for its Fuchsia like flowers as for its fruit.

Elsewhere my outdoor cucumbers did surprisingly well especially as only one of the plants really grew and fruited. The Cucumbers were rather shorter than normal, about half the length and were prickly, so we found them best peeled.

Another of my exotics, the Oca, self set itself all over the place from bits left alive in last years compost heap. Some of the plants I left to grow and about mid October I dug one of these up to see if there were any tubers developing. As the books suggested there was absolutely nothing there to see then, so I covered, the two proper plantings in my overgrown cloches, up with fleeces in the hopes that I can hold off the frost from them long enough for them to develop their tasty tubers. The roots of the Forcing Chicory must be dug up also before the first frosts come. They will then be stored and later replanted, in large pots in the dark, in a frost-free greenhouse, to grow their “Chicons,” that will then be harvested.
One last vegetable that needs attention before the Weather changes too much is the Black Kale. As usual I planted it too early, but it does mean that I can cut the tops off now to give me one harvest and leave the roots and some stem in the ground to re-shoot and give me another crop later.

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