Friday, November 05, 2021

THE nice thing about gardening and plants in particular, is that nothing is permanent and, if something does not look right or you change your mind you can dig and move the plants around until you are happy with the setting.

Timing

Replanting is best done from September until April at the latest with the prime time being the two months at either end of this period.  The old saying that planting should be completed when there is an ‘R’ in the month still applies but, in an emergency you could try moving plants outside those times but the success rate is not good. 

Home grown

Most people like at least some fruit and our family might be unusual in that we seem to like most fruits, especially those that we grow ourselves. There are a number of benefits to growing fruit in your garden and, includes eating chemical free food and the fact you can harvest the fruit when it is ripe and full of taste.  Lack of space might limit you to a full selection but, you can be clever in planning your garden and after that it is just down to growing what you like to eat.

Lucky dip

I suppose what brought fruit to a head is that we ran out of our own plums and pears recently andbought some in the supermarket. I have to say that they looked good but, the taste was disappointing and I was sorry I bothered to buy them in the first place. I do try and stick to eating fruit as and when they are ready for harvesting in their proper season and, this gives added interest as it is something to look forward to.  Being able to eat, say strawberries all the year round does nothing for me as they are tasteless, nothing special and I usually give them a miss.

One fruit tree

If space is limited or you are not bothered about growing fruit then, just consider planting one apple tree instead of an ornamental one like a cherry. The advantages are obvious as the apple tree is a more manageable size, has pretty pink and white flowers and bears fruit which can be enjoyed in the autumn. This is a common theme that I have been onto frequently and will continue to do so.

Tree fruit

Apples are included in a group of fruiting plants which grow into a small tree shape and includes plums, pears and cherries.  Apples are by far the easiest to give fruit followed by plums and as for the rest there could be lean and bumper years. My choice for all fruits would be to go for those that are disease free and need no spraying and, then choose a tree that needs no pollination so it will fruit on its own. For apples Katy, Discovery and Fiesta are good choices, plums either Victoria or Opal and conference for a pear variety.

Bush fruit

Small growing fruit that takes up little room includes Strawberries (12), Raspberries (10), Black currants (1), Gooseberries (1) and Blue berries (1-3).  The number in brackets shows the minimum required to give you a decent crop.

TIP OF THE WEEK

When and as vegetables, summer bedding and perennials die off, put the foliage into the compost heap as they contain valuable minerals and fibre which will be of benefit to plants next year.  It is probably the last shout to plant some garlic and winter onion sets but, the season has started for getting in rhubarb, fruit, trees, shrubs and hedging  plants as they are being harvested from the fields and ready to go into gardens and this will continue until the end of March.  If you have any queries or comments you are welcome to share them with me on (051) 384273 or [email protected] and if of general interest I will include it in a future newsletter.

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On The Spot: James Mernin

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