CONTINUING

The weather is on my side, digging is almost done.

I managed to burn most of the cut down raspberries and any other bits and pieces so it was a clean up day today.

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Just about a third of this patch is left to dig and then all is done – that is until the weeds grow again. I have been working this piece of land for a good few years and the bindweed is holding on in there….

The next job was inside the fruit cage. Some of the currant bushes are getting past their best so I have decided to rejuvenate some. One each year will be just about right. I dug out one red currant and replaced it with a white currant. Managed to get it by chance in B&Q for £1 – I already have one and wanted to have another one for ages. Their flavour is lovely.

THE ORCHARD…..

…..is finished.

Thanks to my lovely family I amassed quite a bit of money in Garden vouchers so on Monday, a few days ago, I had a big spending day.

I knew what I wanted to get – one plum and one gage tree -I knew I had only enough room for two more trees.

Our local nursery visited, trees purchased and delivery arranged (they wouldn’t fit in my little car, together with 3 bags of potting compost and 2 support poles for the said trees). Delivery was arranged for Wednesday – today – and I’m very happy to say that as I write this the trees are in their new home.

I also covered a few crowns of rhubarb as it started growing already. And the last bit – the raspberry patch is done – I took my eye off last year and it turned into a jungle. No more, all is trimmed, dead growth cut, ready to fruit again.

I am happy.

STARTING AGAIN

Here we go again, another start of a new gardening year. I cleaned my greenhouse in the back garden and started three seed trays with onions and leeks. I didn’t do at all well with leeks last year and was determined to have another go. I’ve got Leek Mammoth seeds and have high hopes for them.

It is an unheated greenhouse but a very good one – a Rhino greenhouse – so the seeds should do well. We’ll see.

30. DECEMBER

Today is the last Sunday of the year and the weather was very mild, almost like in the spring. I keep working on the allotment as long as the weather allows me. I have been lucky, the soil on out site drains very well so I can get on with my winter digging.

This is a part of my friend’s plot – he had a lot to organise at home and I offered to do some of his digging. Iust love digging!

Next job was to finish tidying the permanent courgette and squash structures. There were not too many weeds – surprise! – and I put a layer of the wood chip on the paths between them, that way I can walk there even on a wet day.

Just as I was finishing this my friend Dave came and told me that we are going to be putting together my greenhouse. He told me he’ll help when I first got it. I have been looking for another greenhouse for quite a while – one is just not enough as I’d like to have a go at growing water melons and more aubergines. There were moments when I thought that I made a mistake, all I saw was an organised pile of glass panes and the dismantled skeleton. It is nice to know somebody who knows exactly what to do with all this….

All I have to do now is to give it a good scrub – it has been lying there for a number of weeks, get some more clips to fix the panes of glass and build a couple of raised beds inside.

Watch this space.

DECEMBER

I thought it was just about time to make some more strawberry jam – yes, in the middle of December. As we have had such hot summer I decided to freeze quite a lot of my fruit harvest – strawberries, raspberries and all different types of currants. I did make some jam using the freshly picked fruit but the rest was carefully weighed, labeled and frozen. Yesterday’s job was very easy, just selected enough frozen strawberries (2 kilo), got the sugar ready, lemon juice and a bottle of Certo and after defrosting the fruit and a short cooking time…

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It is not just edibles that are making me happy. My two Christmas cacti are looking their very best this year!

 

WINTER DIG

After a few days of rain today was a reasonably dry day. Quite a mild day so after sorting the kitchen out – as quickly as possible – I went to the allotment. I managed to do quite a bit of digging during the autumn and there are only a few patches left. I’m happy with the piece I did today, during this found a good few parsnips and now the ground is ready.

There’s only one net cage to sort out and gradually harvest the remaining parsnips and I’m ready.

Of course, there is the greenhouse to build – a winter challenge. Watch this space!

CARROTS

At last!! I am now convinced that the seeds I have used this year are the best – Flakkee. I know it is not perfect but I am happy with it.

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All of 974g!

I have got a good supply of the seeds ready for next year..

Watch this space.

ALL FINISHED

I put the finishing touches to my new orchard, created small paths between the rows of trees, put grease bands round their trunks and tidied the whole area.

I will grow pumpkins and courgettes in the soil around them so every bit of land will be used. Can’t wait!

 

My new trees are:

Warwickshire Drooper – plum

May Queen and Charles Ross – apples

Louise Bonne of Jersey – pear

 

STARTING AN ORCHARD

I have decided to plant more fruit trees. I have got enough land for growing vegetables so the next sensible thing to do is to plant some fruit trees. I have got a few there already so I had this pleasant task to choose some more. In the end I selected two nurseries, Ashridge nursery and Walcott organic nursery. I am delighted with my new trees. Both nurseries kept me informed about delivery dates and today was the day – both orders came very soon one after another. I had everything ready and as I write all the trees are already in their new home.

Not only do I have now two apple trees, a pear and a plum tree but also another fig tree. Only a small one but from experience I know they grow fast.

I have a large old (about 30 years) fig tree in the back garden and all the other ones are cutting from it. I thin it out every year in February and push some of the branches in soil – at least one roots. Consequently I have four fig trees on the allotment, one of them quite large and I had quite a lot of fruit from it.

TIME TO MOVE

I planted a couple of fruit trees on my allotment a few years ago – in the wrong place. I can see it now, the spot is too dark, very close to a fence. Now is time to move them and I have got just the correct spots for them. They will be reasonably near to a few other fruit trees I have.

 

It was easier than I thought.

I am happy.