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Wellington Fields Allotments - Hixon.


Plough Field Allotments at Amerton

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By Mrs FM

Unusual & Old
Fashioned Fruit

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Environmental Issues And Going Green.

Vines And Other Climbing Plants.

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Alan J Hartley



Over Winter.

Although we are definitely into Winter now our erratic weather means that I am still finding the occasional better day when I can get up to the Allotments to do odd jobs. The real problem is finding useful things to do that don’t mean trampling over the wet ground and ruining the “Crumb Structure,” of the soil while it is so wet. As usual, at this time of year, plots are changing hands, so one job I decided to do was to buy some heavy-duty nylon cord, or thin rope to clearly mark out my plot boundaries because the thin nylon string that was on keeps breaking. Hopefully, although it is still plastic, it will be thick enough not to perish too quickly under the action of sunlight and break as most cheap plastics are wont to do.

I am making good use of my new compost heap and as it will take longer to fill, being so much bigger, I should be able to leave it longer so that it matures better before digging out. I have already filled the main, big compartment once in the 2 months since it was built and turned it into the smaller one to rot further. Turning it like this will also help to speed the rotting action up a bit as well. I have been refilling it with dead growth that has been cut back from the herbaceous plants at home and other vegetable rubbish from the kitchen. (Not meat, cooked, or part eaten food though!)

On a couple of drier days I finally managed to clear the Brassica patch of the old Brussells Sprout and Cabbage stalks etc in preparation for planting the Potatoes that are to follow in a few weeks as Spring gets a bit closer. Most people on the site simply take these stalks home and “Bin,” them, but I like to try and compost everything from my plot. The thick and tough stalks take a long time to rot down properly, so it is best to cut, or break them up first. I usually do this quite effortlessly with a hefty pair of tree loppers that cut through the tough stems like going though butter, especially when they are fresh and haven’t started to dry up and turn too woody.

A couple of years ago I successfully heeled in some pots of rooted tree cuttings and seedlings for easy removal later and to save having to water them at home, so I am trying a similar trick again. This time though I have actually planted some tiny Plum tree suckers to grow on for Oak Tree Farm Rural Project. The young plants will grow on in the ground and then be dug up next Autumn when their leaves have dropped. After all this is usually how “Field Grown,” trees are treated when you buy them “Bare Root,” over the Internet, or by Mail Order. Of course you wouldn’t normally bother trying to grow Plum tree suckers as Plums are usually grafted, but the trees they came from were wild Plums anyway, so it doesn’t matter that they are suckers, because they will be just like their parents. The idea is that Oak Tree will be able to plant them in hedges for a little extra interest and the Plums, although small, are still big enough to use in cooking.

At home I decided that the small Pomegranate bush, which I had had for several years, was too crowded, so I removed it and took it up to my Allotment. Looking for the best spot to plant it in I decided to take out from the Currant area what looked suspiciously like another young Josta Berry bush and put the Pomegranate in its place. Having discarded two ginormous bushes earlier last year I don’t know how this one had escaped being culled as they are a waste of space in my opinion.

Another little job that I did a few weeks ago was to make a wooden frame round my Asparagus bed so that the ground level can rise in successive years as it is mulched with fertilizer and bark chips. The reason for this is that I read that as the years go by the part of the Asparagus that gets cut to harvest the stalks raises higher in the ground. So, slowly lifting the soil level means that the cuts will always be made below the surface of the soil.

My best Sea Kale Crowns and a few of the bigger Chenopodium, that are only starting their second year from seed, were covered in December with up turned black buckets for blanching/forcing. The buckets were only one pound each from a well known D.I.Y. store which is much cheaper than buying proper clay, Rhubarb forcing covers that cost upwards of £20 – £30 each and will only do the same job. The plastic buckets are lighter and safer to move about as well! 

There will be no new plot for me this year unlike previous seasons as I have been told in no uncertain terms that I am up to my limit, so with many jobs already done I should have an easy start to the coming season. On the subject of changing plots the Committee have moved the date for plot renewals into late winter instead of late Spring, so our fifth year starts in February instead of May. It is hoped that this will make it easier for people to take over plots and get them organised before the growing season is upon them.


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