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Wellington Fields Allotments - Hixon.


Plough Field Allotments at Amerton

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By Mrs FM

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Alan J Hartley



Late Frosts.

Spring seemed to start early this year and then we had some cold nights again that kept everything back. Vegetable seedlings germinated and then just sat there and even now that we are well into May we are still getting the odd cold night when parts of the country are getting light frosts. Indeed my Liquorice plant has tried shooting several times, but been cut back by late frosts. My Kiwi Issai and Cinamon Vine likewise have suffered. The Rhubarb is cutting well now, but again that was late starting. The Sea Kale harvested very well with over 110 stalks cut which was great compared to only 45 last year, but has now started going to flower/seed, so I have given I them a feed with processed Chicken Manure pellets and cut them hard back. Previously the Asparagus and Globe Artichokes were shooting while the Sea Kale was still being cut, but this year they seemed to start growing a little later. However, I have now cut a number of Asparagus Spears and 4 “Globes,” by the time of writing this.

After going to great lengths to make a proper bed for my Forcing Chicory, under the staging in the greenhouse at home, the crop proved virtually useless with my only managing to cut 3, or 4 “Chicons,” before rot set in. Quite simply I had watered the plants too much at the wrong time and with too little ventilation. Although, the plants did start growing exceptionally late in the Spring as well, probably because the temperature wasn’t high enough in the Greenhouse at night and was too hot in the day.

One crop that does seem to have done well though is my Eternal, Welsh, Bunching Onions, although they seem to have gone to seed very quickly this year. Having said that they multiplied up well and I have eaten no end as well as given several bunches away for others to start off a bed of their own. After digging them all up, dividing them and weeding and feeding the patch I have replanted individual Onions to grow on for the next crop.

Another patch that needed a lot of attention was the Raspberries. The 2 rows of “Lates,” had Runners going everywhere with the two rows almost becoming one even though they are supposed to be some 5 feet apart! My row of Yellow was also starting to grow through my new row of “Early Reds,” so they had to be dealt with before they got too mixed up.
On the subject of Raspberries, I have decided that they spread too quickly to grow the 3 little “Pink Blueberries,” next to them, so I have decided to move them and put them with the other Blueberries. This will give the big Goji Berry more room and I can start to train it along and across some posts instead of it growing skywards and getting me into trouble over its height.

On the subject of more regular vegetables the 3 rows of Parsnip seeds are doing well with the Jerusalem Artichokes shooting up next to them. My Potatoes have also started shooting at last, but some people, who had them shooting early, had theirs frosted. With the cold nights in mind I am holding back the planting of my Runner and Climbing French Beans as they can both be quite tender as well. I am not going to do so many beans generally though on my new plot this year, as last year I didn’t really make best use of all of the dried beans. Things like the Brassicas will have to wait a bit longer before being planted as well, because they are still a bit too small to transplant. I am not really worried though, as the first year we had our plots, we didn’t get them until mid May, so there is plenty of growing time yet. 


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