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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



Starting Another Season.

We are going into February now and the Allotment rents have just been renewed for the coming season, which will be our 6th year in Hixon since they were started. Since they started I have kept a record on my computer of my plot design and crops planted for each season. The plan is not very accurate, or artistic, but it does mean that I plant sensibly avoiding putting in the same type of crop in the same space without resting the soil for a couple of years in between. Not only can this prevent a lot of pest problems, but different crops need different things from the soil and some things like Beans will actually put goodness into the soil for other crops by “Fixing Nitrogen,” through their roots. The deep cultivation that comes with growing Potatoes occasionally also helps with conditioning the soil. Obviously things like fruit bushes and trees stay in the same place, but it is still good to record them as you have another record of the variety, if, as happens all to often, their label gets lost, or becomes illegible.

There is still not that much to do on the Allotment yet, but life is returning to the Greenhouse with the buds on many plants looking green and healthy with some swelling and even a few starting to open and reveal new leaves. However, I must not be tempted to water them too soon as I often do, because that can cause rot with some plants. Chrysanthemum stools in particular must be kept dry and other things like Geraniums, Fuchsias, Yacon and Gladiola really shouldn’t be watered yet either. On the other hand, many of the over wintering shrubs like tender Figs, Olives, Callistemon and Citrus in particular need a little water occasionally, because letting them go dry over winter could kill them every bit as easily as very cold nights.

Before the short cold spell in mid January, I wrapped up the two Myrtles on my Allotment with Horticultural fleece and kept my fingers crossed as they will not stand it too cold. A few degrees of frost is alright, but when it gets down to minus 10 and below they will have no chance, wrapped up or not!

At the end of January and going into February I pruned my Grape Vines and Fig Trees as well as hard pruning my late Raspberries. (The Earlies should have been done at the back end of Summer after fruiting and the next seasons fruiting canes tied in securely for the winter.) 
The plot adjacent to me has got a Buddleia that should be pruned about now as well. I did mine at home a bit early, but that was probably a good thing as we had some bad winds over winter that would have rocked them and loosened them in the ground.

Apart from winds we had a very wet start to the winter, but I still managed to get a little bit done occasionally and I timed a lot of the tidying up on my plots with the end of January. The reason for this was because my darts team was due to play the Team with the landlord who previously supplied a load of wood chippings for the Allotments. This meant that when I met him I could arrange another lorry load and be ready to use it straight away. The last load went so quickly that although I had obtained it I hardly got to use any before it was all gone! I did have a few compost sized bags before the fresh load came though, for my own use, from Oak Tree Farm Rural Project who have decided to have less bonfires and shred more of their hedge and tree pruning waste.
The new layer of chippings look very bright brown at the moment, but with a few weeks wet on them they will soon blend in with the old ones and they will do a good job of suppressing the weed seeds as the Spring comes and life returns to the Allotments.


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