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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



Planting For The Future.

As usual the Potato Blight started to show itself on a few plants from mid June onwards even though we have had a dry spell for the last few weeks. However, it does not seem to be spreading round the site as fast as usual at the moment, although perhaps that will change if the weather turns wet. Some people have sprayed their potatoes with Bordeux mixture and have had varying success with some patches staying Blight free and others being hit anyway. Next year I really must make the effort to grow a Blight resistant variety as I have for my Tomatoes. Either that, or just grow an Early variety because these seem to have just enough time to mature to a harvestable size before the Blight hits them. When I was installing my edging boards on my new plot I dug up some Potatoes that were in the way a bit. They were on the small side, but were quite usable. My mate and I have decided that as the Potatoes are dug up we will re-plant straight away afterwards with varieties of vegetables that will be harvested over the Winter and early Spring before the whole patch is planted up in the new season as a Bean patch to rotate the crops. Having said that I have already harvested my Broad beans for this season as they had stopped flowering. So, if we plant some of the Potato patch with an earlier Aqua Dulce type of Broad bean they should have been cleared in time for the main planting later in the Spring next year. I know that you should not grow the same thing in the same patch twice, but I am going to try and get another crop of a different type of Bean out of the Broad Bean patch that I have just harvested as I will again next year. The patch has been deeply dug and manured before being re-planted with a quick maturing Kidney Bean that is supposed to crop in 12weeks.
The Broad Beans that I picked were open frozen, loose, in a big, empty, freezer draw and then bagged up for use next Winter. We did have a few fresh with our Sunday lunch, but we are trying to fill up the freezers again now that they have been emptied of all of last year’s crops.

The Potato patch as a whole is going to be re–planted with things like Spring Cabbage, Chard, baby Turnips, Spring/Salad Onions, Radishes, Kohl Rabi, late Swedes, Japanese Onions and Kale. 
In fact anything that is quick to harvest, or that will be an over wintering crop, but not all year Lettuce, because the site is generally too dry and we don’t really eat much Lettuce anyway. Some of these vegetables will need to be sown and be growing before all the Potatoes are out so I have started them off in cellular trays at home. That way they can have about a months growing time in the trays while they are waiting to go in and so will not be to late to develop before the Winter. Even the Swedes and Turnips should be all right like this as I always start my Beetroot off in trays and they are very similar in growth.

My Asparagus has not done so well as expected this year and that is said to be because of the wet winter that has caused the roots to rot. It seems to be responding now to the dry weather that we have had recently and is putting on some good top growth, but there are a few plants that are still not shooting yet that I may have to replace.

We are making more use of the Globe Artichokes this season since discovering a different way of cooking them that makes them easier for my partially sighted mother to eat. In the past we have always cooked them whole, but now I peel the Scales back almost to the “Choke,” or “Heart,” and then boil/steam them. This means that mom can just bite into them without worrying about all the non-edible Scales first.

This year I am also going to make more of an effort with my Raspberries. Last year I didn’t bother too much with them and they got a bit out of hand, but I am determined to keep them more restrained and I have decided that come the Autumn I will plant a 3rd row of Raspberries which will be “Earlies,” instead of the two rows of “Late,” yellow and red that are already in. The row of Tayberries that are now just starting to fruit must be Mid Season fruiting, so a row of Early Raspberries will compliment both.
The Strawberries that I brutally reduced in number are fruiting quite well and we have started “Open Freezing,” some of them and a few of my Grape vines are showing the first signs of a few bunches of Grapes. The Chenopodium plants that I ordered months ago never came, but I managed to find someone selling packets of seeds instead on the Internet. For a while I thought that I had lost my Liquorice plant after putting it outside in a small raised bed, but it seems to be shooting again so I am also looking forwards to seeing what that does. Over all my Allotment is tidier and more organised than this time last year with a few more interesting things growing on it that hold much promise for future seasons.


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