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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



Harvesting The Fruit?

It has been an odd season so far with some plants like the Runner Beans way behind on their growth and things like Outdoor Cucumbers and Squashes not doing a lot either unless they have been watered religiously every day. However, some things have done well including the Rhubarb that has grown nearly as big as an Elephants Eye! Some of the stalks were definitely a bit tougher than usual though, but they did cook alright. After picking over 100 Asparagus Spears and nearly 50 “Globes,” from my Artichokes I was very happy with them as well.

What I wasn’t happy about was almost losing my Meyer Lemon that I planted out in my Allotment and that seemed to withstand all of the Winter only to wither in the Spring. To be honest when I pulled it up, it was trying to re-shoot from the main stem, just below ground level. So, I hastily re-potted it and put it in my greenhouse at home to recover. The then vacant, sunken, root training pot, has now been re-planted yet again, but this time with a home grown seedling of Diospyros Kaki, or Persimmon Fruit. (Sharon Fruit.) This was one of my “Special Tree Seeds,” that I bought a couple of years ago. No doubt it will take years until it fruits and then might need to get quite big before it will, but we live in hope. It has got to do better than either the PawPaw, or the Lemon did!

Admittedly it was at home, but come the beginning of July, I picked my first ripe Apricot of the year from the big tree under the kitchen window. It was all the more satisfying because it was the first ripe fruit that I have ever picked from that particular tree, although it is much more mature than the one on the East-facing wall that is always loaded with fruit. I think the problem is that it flowers a week, or two earlier than the smaller one and the bees aren’t about then as it is just that little bit colder.
Another fruit that I have been pleased with this year is the Chenopodium – “Strawberry Sticks.” Some of the plants have really put on quite a bit of growth this year and it seems that the bigger the plants the bigger the fruits. At first, I thought that, although the berries looked very pretty, they were so small that they weren’t worth bothering with, but this year some of them really are the size of small strawberries! It is one plant that definitely is worth feeding. In fact when people have fruit bushes, fruit trees and indeed any plants that are in the same spot year after year they don’t think about feeding them. They forget that they are constantly taking trace elements and minerals out of the soil that need replacing occasionally. This can be done with an annual mulch of well rotted compost, or leaf mould, a traditional dressing of “Blood and Bone,” and the like, or, by feeding with one of the modern pelleted feeds such as “Growmore,” or the “Organic,” “Chicken Manure Pellets,” that seem to be everywhere now. Don’t forget that fruit with “Stones,” in them like Apricots and Cherries, need a little annual dressing of Lime as well.

My large Goji Berry plant is flowering well, so with any luck it will have a decent amount of berries on this Autumn. I had been in two minds as to whether I should take it out, or not, as it hasn’t as yet produced more than a couple of handfuls of berries each year. Other plot-holders have complained about its size, so I said this was going to be its last year. However, I was given some nice big posts for it, so, being more of a vine than free standing shrub, I bent it down horizontally and stretched it out lengthways between the posts, and it is now being trained a bit like a prickly Grape vine.

One final note, where you are growing fruit under netting, don’t forget that birds can easily get trapped, so check it every day. Only a few days ago I had to rescue one poor thing on the Allotments that had managed to get under some Black Currant netting for a free feed and it would have paid the price with its life if I hadn’t found it in time.


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