Archive for the ‘Fruits’ Category

How I grew over half a tonne of Veg on my allotment in 2013.. (Super-Blog part 2)

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So to continue... Spring Onions... As I said in the part 1 we love our onions.  As well as the normal onions I also have a small bed of multiplying onions - like a spring onion but a bit smaller. I originally planted a few bunches of two or three onions and they soon turned into huge bunches of tall tasty onions which are ideal in stews and soups. They have a totally different taste to normal onions. I dig up a portion of a bunch when required by driving a spade through the bunch and replacing some soil to fill the void!! When the whole bunch has been used I replant a small bunch of 2-5 and in not time they will be ready for eating as well. This way one only needs a square meter or so in the garden for theses.  They over-winter without any problem and jump back into growing mode i

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A Proper Summer!

Person Author: Helen Fowler Calender July 27, 2013 Posted No Tags Comment No Comments
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Yes! A proper summer at last. This is the best summer since 2006! Although it was a long cold spring, with many plants suffering. My tomato plants looked quite sorry for themselves in April, but are wonderful now. I have been harvesting a small number of ripe Sungold toms over the last week and I have others on bush plants ready too. No other varieties ripe, but there are lots of nice trusses on my Gardeners Delight, Black Krim, Purple Ukrain and my grafted Orangina. I have a plant of Indigo Rose which is supposed to have purply blue skin. The unripe fruits already have a blue tinge. I cant wait for my tomatoes to ripen in all colours of the rainbow! Watch the temperatures in the greenhouse or poly tunnel. In the strong sun, temps can easily rocket to well over a 100 degrees, ventil

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Early June Garden.

Person Author: Helen Fowler Calender June 9, 2013 Posted Tags: , , , , Comment 1 Comment
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Hard to believe we are in June now. The good weather we have had over the last couple of weeks has really made a difference. Everything is growing so fast, I can hardly keep up with the potting up, tying in and pinching out! I have baby tomatoes set on some of the early plants, young peas and broad beans and flowers on my chilli's. My bush tomatoes were planted out in pots and tubs outside last week and are looking good with lots of flowers. The bed and borders are full and lush, with little spare space for any new plants, but as I have grown oriental poppies, helebores and himalayan cowslips from seed, I will have to find room somewhere! The soft fruit is looking great and there is a good set on the currants and blueberries. My garlic that was planted in October is gro

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Wow it’s March!!

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I can hardly believe that March is here already! Mind you the last few days have been very spring like. I have seen a few very large bumble bees buzzing around. These will be females that have come out of hibernation, they will feed on early flowers, then look for somewhere to build nests, often old mouse holes. This got me motivated to create a new bee friendly bed out of my old rhubarb bed. The rhubarb grew so huge last year that it over grew the paths and made it difficult to pass. I had already decided to move the rhubarb so after it had died down last year, I planted a plum in the centre of the bed in October. I had chosen a half standard Burbanks Tangerine plum, this would allow for planting beneath it. I have been growing some plants that are very attractive to bees, lots of

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How Quickly the Weather Changes.

Person Author: Helen Fowler Calender February 20, 2013 Posted Tags: , , , Comment 1 Comment
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How quickly the weather can change from one day to the next. The last few days have been mild, sunny and positively spring like, I worked happily in the garden for a few hours on monday and tuesday, it really was like spring. Then bang! today is dull, cold and with a really raw wind. A few mild days and I was suckered in, I know it is only February and spring is a good month away, but for a few hours I really felt that spring was tantalisingly close. The Helebores also think that spring is just around the corner, their lovely red, pink and white blooms are blossoming by the day. Anyway the preparations for the 2013  garden season carry on. Lots more seeds in and out of the propagator, with more flowers going in now the toms and peppers are through. I have some perennial flower

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Growing and Propagating Strawberries

Person Author: Gavin Conway Calender January 21, 2013 Posted No Tags Comment 2 Comments
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The snow is upon us, which has prompted me to write this article. Many gardeners are worried that their Strawberries will die in the snow - Rest assured they WILL survive. They love the cold and snow conditions.. Fresh Strawberries from the plot are a great seasonal treat. You can have them as the traditional "Strawberries and Cream" and many many more ways.. Trifles, puddings, pies etc. etc. They are great for making jams as well. I use them and mix in with various other fruits to make jams and jellies. See my  "Strawpple Jam" here. Literally hundreds of combinations can be done with Strawberries. You can successfully grow Strawberries in containers as well.. See information here.         General The two types of Strawberries  that I know of are the normal fruiting type

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Growing Melons

Person Author: Helen Fowler Calender November 16, 2012 Posted Tags: , Comment 1 Comment
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The melon [ Cucumis melo ] is a member of the Cucurbit family along with squashes and cucumbers. It is unsure where melon's first originated from, but it is thought most likely from Asia or Africa, rather than the USA. It is thought that Columbus introduced melon's to America on his second expedition, carrying them as rations to ward off scurvy. Whatever their origins, melons are tender plants and need warm sunny conditions to thrive. Because of this, they are mostly grown undercover in the UK, though more cold tolerant varieties are being developed. The use of fleece or cloches can help to keep the plants warm in poor weather. Sowing. In April or May, sow the melon seeds on their sides 1/2 inch [ 1 cm ] deep in pots of moist seed or multi purpose compost. Place in a propagator o

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Pruning of Fruiting Currants.

Person Author: Helen Fowler Calender August 24, 2012 Posted Tags: , , Comment No Comments

Red, White and Pink currants all produce their fruit on old wood, growth that was made in previous years. Summer is a good time to start your pruning. Prune this seasons new growth, by cutting the main shoots back by two- thirds. Then in early spring before growth starts, cut these main shoots back again to leave 2-4 buds, prune to an outward or upward facing bud. Side shoots can be pruned to leave 2 buds. As these currants are quite vigorous growers, this hard pruning keeps the bushes compact, and encourages fruiting spurs to develop. In late winter or early spring, before growth starts, you can also remove any diseased, dead or damaged branches or any that are growing into the centre of the bush. The aim is to produce an open goblet or bowl shaped bush, allowing a good circulation of air

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Summer Pruning of Fruit Trees.

Person Author: Helen Fowler Calender August 24, 2012 Posted Tags: , , Comment No Comments

The pruning of fruit trees in summer is often overlooked, but it is an important part of fruit tree maintenance. It reduces the height and width of the tree, keeping the growth under control and on apples and pears, encourages the development of short flowering shoots called spurs. Plums, gages and cherries should only be pruned in summer, because if they are pruned in winter a disease called silver leaf can enter the pruning wounds, and can kill the tree. Apples and Pears:  Most of the apple and pear trees we grow are spur forming, they flower and fruit on short shoots called spurs that form along the branches. They fruit on older wood made in previous years. In summer prune only the current seasons growth, this is the new growth made this year. It will be shiny, bright and pliable, a

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New Blueberries From Cuttings.

Person Author: Helen Fowler Calender June 28, 2012 Posted Tags: , , Comment 1 Comment
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  If you want to increase your blueberry bushes, why not try propergating from cuttings. At this time of the year, [ late June ], it's the perfect time to take softwood cuttings. All this means is that the new growth is bendy and flexible, later in the year it will harden, loose it's flexability and become hard. You would then take hardwood cuttings. Right back to softwood cuttings. Try to select a new shoot about 5 to 6 inches long, dont worry if they are a bit longer. Pull the shoot gently away from the stem with a small heel of older stem wood. The cutting wants to be flexible and springy, but not too soft. If the top of the cutting feels too soft, it can be removed. Carefully remove all but the top 1 or 2 leaves, if the leaves are very large, they can be cut in half. Prepare

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