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Wellington Fields Allotments - Hixon.

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Planting More Fruit.

When I cut my Late Raspberries down every year it is always a bit of a problem disposing of the old canes. Normally, whenever I prune anything, the stems are cut up, or put through the shredder, to use as a mulch, but at home I used to put the Raspberry canes into the Green Waste Recycle bin because we felt that as a mulch they would be full of prickles and therefore not the best of things to use. Now that they are on the allotment though, I decided to shred them and use them as a mulch around the Rasberries. After all when Raspberry bushes have been in the ground for some time they are surrounded by a natural mulch of bits of old canes that have broken off etc. I have been putting a mulch of Bark Chips around all my fruit so this will mean another source of stems can be used for shredding. 

After cutting down my Late Raspberries I put in some new posts to hold up the supporting wires better, although you donít normally tie up Late Raspberries. The site is so windy though and they get so tall I thought they needed it. Then I tidied up the small patch between them and the end of my plot. My Goji Berry is already at the end of this little piece and I felt that it was a big enough area to plant my 3 Pink Blueberries and the Yellow Gooseberry. The Goji Berry has prickles as will the Gooseberry, so the whole area along with the Raspberries will be a bit prickly underfoot after some time and some more mulching. 

For several years now I have wanted to buy a small field and plant my own little Orchard. Its not that we use an enormous amount of fruit, although, I suppose we do eat quite a lot, but its just something I fancied doing. Finally accepting that this is never going to happen I decided to get another small allotment plot on our site and devote more space to fruit trees.
I have already planted 4 little fruit trees that are getting established, but intend to put in some more. The bare-root Almond Tree, Little Princess, that I ordered months ago, finally came the other week, so until I am ready to plant it I have potted it to start it into growth. When the time comes its roots wonít be disturbed as I will simply take it out of its pot and put it into the ground in one of the special bag pots I have mentioned before. Apart from the Almond I have a tiny sucker from a yellow Plum that I dug up at Oak Tree Farm Rural Project. Obviously that is not on a dwarfing root-stock like the Almond, but putting it in one of the restricting bag pots should have the same effect. There are a couple of other trees that I might plant, although, at the moment I am not sure which will end up being put in. One is a Quince root cutting and another is an Asimina Triloba, or American Paw Paw. I grew the Paw Paw from seed and it is supposed to be quite hardy, but it does say that they like a sheltered spot and our allotments are hardly that!

When I planted the first batch of 4 trees in my plot I interspaced them with Tomato plants and Cape Gooseberries because I thought that it would be a waste of space between the trees until they got established. I am pleased with the growth they have put on, but the roots wonít have spread much yet, so I am going to plant between them again this year. I will do this with the new batch of 4 trees as well for a couple of years at least before I spread Bark Chips between them to keep down the weeds and to walk on when I start harvesting my mini Orchard!




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