Tag Archives: concorde pear

Hello, Sunshine, where have you been?

tomato

If you ask my Mum, the tomatoes have been looking routinely quite sad. They needed watering, and they were cheered up with doses of haitch two oh as and when required. What was more important, was sunshine. Sunshine, which has been somewhat absent and has finally turned up. And very welcome it is too, as it has kick started and renewed feelings of optimism as far as the allotment is concerned. According to the weather people, the sunshine is going to be around for a while; a week at least. With that in mind, the tomatoes have been sent outside to the path in Dad’s garden to start the process of hardening off. Unlike last year, where the tomatoes were all grown under cover; these are going to be outdoors and in raised beds or open ground. Currently they are all having a strop in pots, and I am hoping that if the plants sun bathe for the next few days that I can then take them to the allotment and bury them a bit deeper. The appearance of yellow flashes, tomato flowers, suggests that these all need to get a wiggle on and fairly soon.

This year’s cohort of chillies are the current room mates of the tomatoes, and will also need to be removed to the poly tunnel and be potted up. There are chillies here that are supposed to be small and stumpy, as it were, and those who are supposed to grow tall and abundant. I did sort them out into two groups to make the sorting out easier. The taller chillies will be potted up into large flower buckets, whereas the smaller ones are going to put into pots as they are not expected to take up a huge amount of room. In the last few weeks, the chillies have rather had something of a grow spurt and on time. In the next four weeks they will grow further before being moved to the poly tunnel. Having been sown a little late doesn’t appear to  have to knocked them too much.

With the chillies hitting a stride, there are also emerging seedlings. Recently sown cucumbers and squashes have started to come through. With the frost window remaining open until the next May bank holiday, both of these have got four weeks to grow and become more robust.  In my experience, squashes grow very quickly; you sometimes have to re-pot them to key up. I am hoping that with the four week window they are suitably sized for planting out once that they have been hardened off. With the cucumbers, I do intend for these to be planted and grown outside. I have previously grown crystal lemon outside and harvested a crop.

Seedlings are sat on the sidelines, mean making crumble. Last year I was able to harvest trugs full of apples and these were then frozen alongside some plums. Today has been spent making a plum and apple crumble. The second in four days!

With the crop of a previous year being used up, we can look to the future crop. A walk to the plot meant finding cherry and apple Blossom. The two cherry trees, Sylvia and Morello, are new additions to the plot; so it was rather heartening to see white buds n the Morello, but a lovely white bloom-just the one!-on the Sylvia tree. I wasn’t expecting to see any blossom on them this year, so I am really quite surprised to see blossom. I did check on the Concorde pear, that appears to have taken the frost on the chin, and is still looking frilly. The darling peach tree does still have a couple of deep pink blooms, there had been half a dozen; I did fleece at one point only for the wind to disagree with the shrouding.

The otherwise heavy clay of the allotment has had a chance to dry out. This has been to the relief to the heritage garlic that Marshalls were kind enough to provide for the plot. Garlic is wonderfully resilient, and is actually doing quite well given how much rain it has suffered. There are no signs yet of any bolting, and the ground is weed free so the bulbs should be making the most of the nutrients available from the clay.  The foliage is still very green and leafy, and with another eight weeks to go there is still a lot of growing to be done.

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I do like it when the post person delivers something that you’ve been hotly anticipating. Copies of ‘Sow Grow and Eat’ landed on our doormat and rather made my day. My thanks to the fabulous Howard-(the artist who once sunk spuds, remember him?) for having put the cover together. You will also spot that the Loldeantimber trug is now something of a cover star, it also appears in the book. Given how the trug is used so much on the plot, it was definitely going to end up in the book.

Promises Promises: Buds to bloom and burst

It is the day after the night before, as Storm Katie ran amok around the British Isles. Mum and I headed down to the plot to see if there was any damage. The poly tunnel and walk in green house are still standing strong. My biggest concerns are always the grapevines and the fruit trees. Somewhat mindful of the potential inclement weather, I had staked the thin wiry trees to give them a bit of a fighting chance. There are puddles on the plot, on the lower part at least. This always happens, and the continuing plan is to raise that part of the plot.It is for that very reason that I have raised beds to help overcome the soggy soil.

Having checked for major disturbances, the first thought I had was about the Peach tree. A A variety called darling, this is a  very new tree to the allotment. Over the last week or so, I have been watching a small cluster of pink fuzz. The rest of the tree is forming buds, but this cluster is obvious because of its brightness against the bark. I have been checking almost daily, to see if the pinkness has burst. I’m not too sure if it is cluster of leaves or an actual blossom. This is a lot closer to success than my previous experience with a peach rochester tree, that didn’t do an awful lot at all. Hence the excitement of this tree actually doing something.

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Concorde Pear also seems to be kicking off. Last year, we had all of two pears. I am not complaining about that, I am very glad for those two pears. They ended up on a chutney. For now the blossom isn’t actually very pretty, it’s fuzzy, spiky and awkward looking. My only concern is that we have a horrible frost and these will get obliterated as they have in the past.

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Last year the Moor Park Apricot formed maybe less than half a dozen leaves. (No that is not the rest of my plot, nothing to do with me.) A year later, there are more green buds forming, and that means potentially more leaves. This, like having a peach tree, was an impulsive experiment. The growing season is still young, so this like the other trees will be monitored and observed closely.

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These are Darrow, blue jay and blue crop blueberries. I like my blueberries, least of all because they produced a surprise crop last year. Two out of the three have been there for a year, the third is a recent acquisition. I am comforted by the number of buds though, a good sign. Blueberry gin may well happen again.

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soft fruit flowers

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The fruit trees were positively frilly with blossom. The blossom has long since disappeared with the wind, and it is now possible to see whether or not the fruit has set. The concorde pear tree, which has til now had not a lot going for it; does appear have set something. Not many nobbly bits are visible on the otherwise quite leafy tree. But they are there. The braeburn, falstaff and worcester pearmain are also showing signs of fruit setting.

Then there are the raspberries. Now, we have a number of different varieties, which span the growing season. What you see is the first flower on the summer fruiting canes. Not many of the all season collection have sent out green shoots and runners. So it was a surprise to see a white bloom. I know that the canes have to be so old before they send out shoots and runners. All of the canes are what I believe to be two years old.

The varieties that I have are:

  • Tulameen
  • Malling Jewel
  • Glen Cova
  • fall gold
  • Autumn bliss

The latter two are the autumnal ones. Sadly, I can’t remember which bed had which other summer raspberries in. I have also seen the autumn raspberries start to develop white blooms. A bit early, but I won’t argue with mother nature. I remember last year that the autumn bliss were really an abundant cropper, even with two single canes.

#NABLOPOMO: Blossom booting up on the plot

I have been some what worried as I wander around the plot, that there was something of a delay with the blossom. There seemed to be blossom everywhere, but my little corner of the universe. So I made something of a close inspection today, to see if there was anything growing. The braeburn, worcester pairmaine and falstaff apple trees have started to send out leaves and blossom. But what really took me by surprise was the presence of plum and pear blossom. The concorde pear tree has blossomed previously, but then lost all it’s blooms. The victoria plum even fruited once, three years ago, but nothing since. Whilst I feel somewhat alarmist, I’m not holding out too much hope this early.

With having hope, I had somewhat lost it with the rochester peach tree. Unlike the Moor park apricot, a recent addition, the rochester peach looks a pale, skeletal thing, about to snap in half. I looked down, thinking that I perhaps needed to weed around the  base. A single solitary shoot protruding from the bark. Al is not, perhaps, lost. In comparison, the moor park apricot is slowly waking and sending out green shoots.

Blueberries were watered today, with saved rain water. Not looking so bad, sending out buds and flowers. We might end up with fruit yet.

Blossom and buds

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Just over a week ago, the three corden trees were sunk into the ground. they have been stood sentry on the plot for some time now. Whilst we have had some plums and apples, not has a huge bouty. It was nice to see some blossom today on the falstaff apple, and the pear. The pear had done very little in the past. There has been blossom too, but killed by the frost. Here’s hoping this lasts.>