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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



Jobs For Autumn.

Autumn is definitely coming now with leaves on trees starting to change colour and some already dropped, although, we are still only in early October. Having said that there are lots of quick harvesting salad plants on sale in the Garden Centres that are especially good for under Cloches at this time of year. Salad crops are not really my thing though, as I always think that they need lots of water to do well. I do however, grow the large, Radish Mooli and sowed some seed direct into the ground back in August that are now looking quite good. Some vegetable plants such as the All Year Round types and Spring Cabbage can still go in, but mine are already growing on my plots. Autumn is of course the time for planting Spring flowering bulbs, that some people grow on their allotments for cut flowers, as well as being time to plant Garlic, Japanese Onions and the Old traditional type of Jerusalem Artichokes. The newer types of Artichokes like Fuseau are quicker to harvest though and can be planted in the Spring.

Many Allotments allow greenhouses, but mine is at home where I have carried out another Autumn job and that is to wash off the whitewash type shading from the outside of the glass. I picked a dull and drizzly day for this job, because if you do it on a sunny day the whitening dries again as soon as you start to wash it off. The persistent drizzle might have helped to rinse the glass, but it meant I got thoroughly soaked! It is necessary to wash the glass like this because with the shortening days and lower light intensities you need to make the most of what sun there is.

Another Autumn job that I have just done in the greenhouse is to put up the Bubble Polythene to line the roof and insulate it from the coming cold nights. Some people line the sides as well, but the roof is where most of the heat goes out. It is quite surprising, but as soon as you put it up you can feel the difference. It is almost as if someone has turned on a heater. There is one drawback with lining your greenhouse though and that is it makes the need for careful watering, and good ventilation in the day time, even more important, or else things will start rotting. 

Autumn brings about the Hazel nut harvest and after last years debacle I picked between 6 and 7lbs from my tree at home this year – and they had nuts in! One girl has a tiny, multi-stemmed tree on the Allotment that is only about 4 feet high and she was delighted to be able to pick a few nuts. She is going to have to do a lot of pruning in years to come to keep it down to the 2 metres height that is allowed on the site for trees though. My brother has just Coppiced his 15 feet high tree and it meant that he picked nuts for the first time as he either, couldn’t see them, or couldn’t reach them before. However, he won’t get any more now for 3 years until the branches mature again. They say you should prune out about a third of the oldest branches every year to keep the trees manageable and still keep getting some nuts. While on the subject of Hazel trees, many people think they spread by under ground suckers, but they don’t. However, like many trees they will shoot from dormant buds below ground level and these will root though, giving the appearance of suckers. In fact I had a nice red Hazel that did that and I got a fee tree out of it.

I have removed one row of my Yellow Raspberries to give a bigger gap between the rows and will put something else in between. At the same time I will reduce the number of Autumn fruiting bushes that I have and put in some Early fruiting ones separated by upturned and buried paving slabs that hopefully will keep the roots apart. 
I am going to order the Early fruiting Raspberry canes from a nursery, because the ones my brother gave me turned out to be the Autumn type. As the Autumn canes are still fruiting it is the wrong time to move them yet, but I potted some that I had dug up anyway for Oak Tree Farm and also for our sales table on the Allotments. Bare Root raspberry canes, and indeed anything bare root, will not be dispatched by the nurseries until the leaves have fallen and then they can be planted more or less throughout the Winter on milder days, when the weather permits. There are still quite a few weeks until the weather gets too bad to do anything at all on the Allotment though. Indeed it is usually possible to find jobs to do until after Christmas!


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