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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



The Fruit Trees Live!

For 9 or 10 years now I have had 3 smallish, but established Bay Trees, grown as a Hedge on my Allotment. I did my best to keep them pruned and restrict their size, but after many years they were becoming too big. So, last Autumn, I cut them down very hard leaving stumps some 18 inches high. Last Winter was quite vicious at times and come this spring they had suffered and were not shooting at all. People were convinced that I had killed them, but I left them in and now they are starting to throw up fresh, vigorous, young shoots from around the base of the stumps, so I have cut them down even further. With the established root system that each stump has, the shoots will grow very quickly and might rapidly get out of hand. If that is the case I may have to remove them altogether, but I am hoping I can prune the Bays back into a good hedge shape and give them a few more years of life.

I did a similar thing with my Eucalyptus in the back garden at home last Autumn when I cut it hard back leaving little more than a 6 foot high pole. However, it sprang back into life before Winter, and although many of the young shoots were badly burned by the frost, it is now recovering well. I am hoping that the hard pruning will enable me to leave it in situ for a few more years as well, before it becomes too big again. I didn’t prune my Callistemon, but that and the lovely Variegated Myrtle in my front garden, were also both badly burned by the frost. The Callistemon appears to have more life in it than the Myrtle, but I am hopeful that they will both come back into full growth.

Last Winter I bought a “Bare Root,” Apricot tree that arrived rather late this Spring. It was not shooting at all and looked “to all the world,” as if it was just so much “dead twigs.” Other Allotment Holders thought I was silly to have paid so much for a “Dead Plant,” but it did not let me down and is now shooting very well. I did take a lot of care planting it by giving it a good soak in a bucket of water for a couple of hours first. Then, in the hole that I dug, I poured a can of water before planting it and I gave it another can afterwards. Thereafter, whenever it showed any signs of the soil drying out, I watered the young tree. I guess the Plant Company must have had it in cold storage to stop the Buds from bursting, before it was sent out, and hold it back for a late despatch, but it did reaffirm my faith, in buying “Bare Root,” and in buying by Mail Order. It just shows how amazingly trees will hang on to life, and given a chance, will come back into growth again.
The Apricot Tree filled a space on my Plot that had been made by the removal of a Plum Tree, so as soon as it was planted, I started to tie in the branches and shape it up. I had thought of planting a young Sharon Fruit Tree, that I had grown from seed, in that spot, but when I tried bending its branches to see if I could train it, they simply snapped off. At my mothers house we had had a more mature one that lost its top one Winter when it just snapped clean off in the high winds, so I did know they were brittle, but I did not know they were too brittle to train.

I have grown some Cinnamon Vines for a number of years now for fun, although they do have culinary uses, and last Winter I put up some new posts for them. Looking at them a week or two ago, at the start of June, I saw that they had started to shoot, so I constructed a home made trellis type framework, on the three new posts, by using 2x1pressure treated timber with string tied to it for vertical support for the vines. The new Structure, with the Black Raspberry in the background tied to some older posts, replaces a rotting timber framework that was used last year and was by my new slab path. This replacement is another part of the work I started last Winters to up grade the old posts which were all over my plot.

When I still lived with my Mother, before she died, there were 2 Mulberry Bushes, or perhaps I should say Trees, growing very nicely in the crowded garden. One was too big to move, but I tried to move the other, and in moving it and cutting it down, I did manage to kill it. So when I saw a Dwarf Mulberry bush for sale from one of my favourite Internet Plant Suppliers, I ordered one. It was months before I got it, it was not cheap and it was only a few inches high, but I potted it hopefully, and in due course it leafed up and is now shooting well. I am going to train the Mulberry into a Fan shape and have tied its young shoots to a homemade Fan Shaped Trellis. Next Winter it may be big enough to plant into the spot in my Allotment where I have decided to take out another Plum Tree. Well actually, it is a Green Gage, but that is a type of Plum and as with the other Plums that I had, it doesn’t like being pruned continuously and trained Espalier Style. With luck I will be able to donate the Gage to my Village’s Orchard Project as it should be OK to move it and replant it after the leaves have dropped.
Last Winter I dug up another Plum that I didn’t want and sent it “Bare Root,” to the Charity where I Volunteer. I am pleased to say that the Tree has settled in nicely and has leafed up well.

Done at the right time, trees can be pruned very hard, dug up with little root and generally treated very harshly. Then given a little care and encouragement they will not only survive, but will spring back and recover, often with renewed vigour. People lose Trees when they try do things to them at the wrong time.


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