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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



More Jobs For Autumn.

It is still a bit early, but Winter is not far away now and I have started to look around at all the plants that will need taking in for shelter in the worst of the coming cold. My Bottle Brush, or Calistemon, Olive and Fuchsias are just a few that will fill my greenhouse. As they finish flowering, I will also be digging up my pots of Gladiola from the Allotment and putting them under the staging to dry along with my mothers favourite houseplant, the Amaryllis. My Citrus bushes never actually got put outside this year because we kept having cold nights and the Lime tree in particular might have been caught out by the odd cold night. However, keeping the Orange, Lemon, Lime and Kumquat inside has meant that they have put on some good growth though and they have even had a few flowers. We had bit of frost at the beginning of the second week of October with the cars going white over and people having to scrape windscreens. Having said that it didn’t blacken the Dahlias and my Yacon is still alright on the Allotment so it must have been an “Air Frost,” as they say. My outdoor Tomatoes have, one, or two leaves on the tops that have caught the cold, but otherwise they are alright and still ripening. The Chrysanthemums haven’t been touched at all yet as they are much tougher and it will be a bit later before they will be affected by the cold. I am still cutting some flowers from them with the “Late’s,” still to come.

This year there seems to be more and more varieties of Fig trees around in the garden Centres than ever before and it is supposed to be the fruit tree of the year. Many varieties now being sold claim to be hardy enough to go outside permanently and others are intended for a conservatory. I am getting quite a collection of them, but what to do with them? I will soon need a bigger greenhouse for the tender ones so that I can take them in for the Winter! I have just seen advertised, a green skinned one that has been naturalised on the banks of the Thames in Chelsea. Of course I have ordered one for my Allotment! There has been a lot more about growing Fig trees on television lately as well and recently I saw a program on TV about Figs that informed us that on the continent the male and female trees grow separately with the male trees having small inedible Figs that attract the pollinating wasps and the females producing the edible fruit. It made me think that maybe my fancy leaved Ice Crystal Fig is actually a male tree and that is why it is classed as an ornamental only with small, inedible Figs.

With Winter coming it is time to start pruning some of the shrubs starting with Buddleias. I have just cut the bulk of the growth from mine and put some hardwood cuttings in large pots in an empty greenhouse at Oak Tree. They don’t really need the greenhouse to root, but it will keep the winter wet and snow off them. I have also pruned my Currant bushes on the Allotment and put some cuttings in along with Forsythia and Kerria that were already part rooted in the ground when I pulled up the spreading shoots. I normally do quite well with Fig cuttings so have put some in my Allotment with some Gooseberry cuttings that also root fairly easily. Earlier in the year I “Air layered,” one special Fig and am trying the same method with one of my small Mulberry trees. It should root easily enough given plenty of time. My brother saw my success with my special variegated Fig called Panachée and is trying it with his Wisteria. 

My Runner Beans had stopped flowering a week or two ago, so after picking the last few decent ones, I left on some of the pods that had previously been missed, until they had ripened, and then harvested the seed for next year. I don’t normally bother, but it is what many Allotment holders traditionally do and I am trying to store my own seed potatoes in a frost-free garage for next year as well. I will need to check the little tubers for rotting as we go through the Winter though. I left the stalks/roots of the Runner Beans in the ground for a while to rot down and release the Nitrogen from their Nitrogen Fixing Nodules. The stems were chopped up with my shears so that they would rot quicker on the compost heap. When I originally put the Beans in and tied the canes together I used natural twine/string instead of nylon, so that it could all be left in with the leaves to rot down, otherwise if you use nylon you have got to fish out every little bit of plastic before composting it.

My Jerusalem Artichokes came into flower with their large Daisy like flowers which is usually a sign that the plants are ready to start harvesting. So, the stems were cut down and chopped up with Secateurs, and Loppers for the thicker ones, before being composted. They will take a long time to rot, but chopping them up means it is almost like mixing in bark chips to the compost as they are very woody.

The last of my Potatoes have been dug up, but are not very good as they have been infested with what looks like Wireworms, Millipedes or something like that and are full of holes. 

With parts of the Allotment being cleared now it is time to start thinking about manuring the plot ready for next Spring. There are a few vegetables still to sow in the ground now though, as well, such as the Aquadulce type of Broad Beans that go in, in late October early November.


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