A New Season Starts

A New Season Starts

4th February 2016:

It’s that time of year when our thoughts turn to what we will grow in the allotment this year, and it’s quite exciting. We have already weeded and tidied up but then we decided to divide the plot into eight smaller units this year. We try not to walk on the planting soil but every year we end up compressing it as we plant, weed, or harvest. Now there are specific paths between each plot and hopefully we will be able to reach most areas without treading on the soil.

This year we are hoping to grow more fruit. We planted new raspberries last year which managed to provide us with a few bowls of fruit even though it was their first year. This year should be even better. We planted Autumn Bliss, which are delicious, as their cropping follows on from the strawberry season and they don’t usually finish until the first frosts arrive. The beauty with autumn fruiting plants is that you cut them completely to the ground once they have finished fruiting, whereas with summer fruiting ones you have to cut out the stalks that have fruited and leave the new growth for next year. Obviously it’s easier to cut everything down than try to work out which of the canes have fruited.

We have made one of the beds into a strawberry bed. A friend was leaving her allotment and said to help ourselves to her strawberry plants. We have put in a couple of dozen small plants so won’t get much from them this year. We don’t know what variety they are so are just hoping they are sweet and full of flavour.

Still on the fruit theme, we have just planted a blackcurrant bush. It probably should have been planted in autumn but now is also OK to plant. Again, we probably won’t get much this year as we had to cut all the stalks down to the ground, but hopefully next year we should be freezing fruit and enjoying it all year.