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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.

Vines And Other Climbing Plants.

Fish Ponds

Books By
Alan J Hartley



Later Plantings For The Unusual.

Most people planted their Dahlias a couple of weeks ago, but I refrained from planting my Yacon, which are an early species of Dahlia and come from the time of the South American Inca’s. They would probably have succumbed to the cold nights that we had right into the middle of June anyway, but I wanted to plant them in the space where the Garlic had been. Being a different type of root vegetable they will follow on nicely without building up problems in the soil that develop from growing the same thing all the time. Other plants that went in after the Broad Beans came out were a few Tomatillos and Leeks. The name Tomatillo suggests that they are related to Tomatoes, but Tomatillos are most definitely not related in any way to them. Although they produce an edible fruit, they are closely related to the garden flower, Chinese Lanterns, or Physallis. Again these plants can be a bit tender, so I had potted them on into 5 inch pots and kept them in my greenhouse at home to keep them growing until it warmed up a bit. Previous years we only used the large fruits from them to make a “Salsa Verde Sauce,” but last year my mate made a sweet chutney with some, that my mother approved of!
Tomatillos are also closely related to the tougher Cape Gooseberry. I managed to keep 3 plants in my greenhouse over Winter that had been dug up from my allotment at the end of last year. These I planted out a bit earlier on in the season as they are quite a bit hardier and will stand a light frost. Another plant, or rather handful of tubers that I over Wintered and planted out in June, was my Oca. Again I started the tubers off in large pots, under protection, to get them growing a bit, whereas outside they would have just sat in the ground until it warmed up. This will give them a longer growing season that should mean bigger tubers at harvest time.

Last year I managed to get hold of some Egyptian Onions and was most disappointed with them, but I left them in the ground over Winter and they started shooting again this Spring. They were supposed to produce small Onions on top of the stalks a little bit like a few of the flowering bulbs sometimes do. These bulblets were then supposed to start shooting while still attached. The weight of the developing bulblets causes the stem to bend down and then they drop off ready growing – hence the common name of “Walking Onion,” because reproducing like this they can “Walk,” across a patch of ground. They do seem to have developed much better this year and are already producing little clumps of bulblets.
One of the Volunteers at Oak Tree asked me if I had ever heard of them as he had grown them years ago and wanted some. Needless to say I dug up and potted one clump for him and he was most pleased. The surplus Everlasting Onions that I had taken a few weeks earlier for Oak Tree weren’t selling very quickly though as people decided they weren’t going to pay 50 p for a single “Spring Onion,” in a pot! 

The Strawberries are starting to ripen now but the plants are a mess and full of weeds. I thought that I had weeded them quite well but obviously I hadn’t. I had tried to weed through the plants without fetching them all out and disturbing them but there is nothing else for it now, so I will have to dig them all up in the late Autumn, weed them properly and replant them. They have been in the same spot for 4 years now so the soil is badly in need of rejuvenation. Both the patch of Red and my patch of special White Strawberries will be have to be completely dug up. I will dig the soil over deeply and put in plenty of compost and some manure before replanting. Hopefully, though, the White Strawberries will still crop a little better than last year which was their first real year.
We picked a couple of punnets of fruit, but they were a bit on the small side and I would have liked more. Maybe this year I will have as many White Strawberries as I do Red! Strawberries and Cream will never look the same again!


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