Sunday, 4 September 2011

Fruit Trees Arrive

Well – a lot seems to have happened since my last post. It’s amazing how quickly things have grown – we’ve already eaten thinning from the salad crops, and enjoyed a stir-fry using some of the young pak choi; the tomatoes have been ripening too. I’ve also cut some turnip tops and black kale to use as greens.

I built the first fruit frame, ready for the plants I’d ordered. I dug out deep post-holes (I found some clay about a spade-and-a-half’s depth – I’m a lot luckier than some of the plots, which have clay near the surface), and put in sturdy posts, bracing them with angled timber. I then stretched 3 wires, 60cm apart, between the posts using straining eyebolts, and tied canes to the wires, 75cm apart, at an angle of about 60 degrees. Three types of apple arrived, and these were planted at an angle, so that the stems could be tied to a single cane. These are termed “oblique cordons.” Cordons are simply a single stem which bear fruit on short side shoots.

I’m going to have another frame the other side of the plot, and will eventually have pears and plums too. I also prepared another frame for later planting of cane fruit (raspberries and vertical cordon gooseberries) and in the centre of this planted a goji berry – supposedly a “super fruit”. It’ll be interesting to see how it does, anyway. Along with the trees I previously planted in my front garden, we should be well-supplied with fruit.

A deer (seen in the field one morning) had been in one of my permanent beds, where I’ve planted some globe artichokes and broad beans, so I stretched wires across to deter it. We’ve also collected some more CDs and stretched them across in front of that bed, and taken some clanky wind chimes there, which may frighten it off. The Parish Council are reportedly going to add another deer fence on another side of the field.

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