Thursday, 20 November 2008

Current Trend

While passing through Lidl the other day I spied some redcurrant bushes that seemed to be a good bargain. We already have a blackcurrant bush and I want to add some more fruit to the ever filling up plot, and redcurrants would be very useful.

I bought 3 bushes which looked very healthy and because I didn't have time to plant them on the plot straightaway because I haven't dug where I want them to go yet, I have planted them in quite big pots for the time being. When the space has been thoroughly dug over I shall put them in their permenant home and they will be a nice compliment to the blackcurrant, loganberry, strawberry, blackberry and raspberry bushes that are there, and not forgetting of course the newly planted Bramley apple tree.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

An apple a day

Now that the produce has been harvested (except for the leeks, sprouts and late maincrop potatoes) it's time to think about adding more structure to the allotment.

I have always wanted to grow a Bramley apple tree so as to have a continuous supply of apples to use in cooking and baking. Now that we have the extra plot there is plenty of room to realise that dream. In October I saw an advert in the "Daily Telegraph" for a Bramley apple tree and 2 blackberry bushes all for £19.99. Always one for a good bargain I decided to order the fruit straightaway.

When it all arrived, I was very excited. The tree is a mature 2 year old 5 ft tall specimen and the blackberry bushes were also over a year old. They all looked very healthy and I knew that the months of October and November were good for planting fruit as the ground is still relatively warm.

So in the October half term the children and I spent a few hours digging a rather large hole of about 3 ft in diameter and about 18" deep. We marked out the size with handfalls of sand and started digging. After we had dug down about 6" we hit pure clay so digging was a bit hard-going after that. When the hole was big enough we put 4 sacks of local Council manure at the bottom and plenty of blood, fish & bone fertiliser so as to give the tree a good start. The tree was duly planted with great ceremony and all the earth put back with more compost on the surface for good measure. We also placed an old piece of guttering down into the earth so that we can pour water down it so it reaches the roots easily.

The tree was then staked (temporarily) as the stake will not arrive until February next year and then given a thorough watering.

All in all a very satisfactory day's work. Let's hope that in a few years time we shall be reaping the harvest of all that hard work.