Posted by: sweetpea | April 10, 2007

Finally got around to the fruit bed….

Over the Easter break I managed to crack on with a few more jobs down at the lottie, in between popping home to North Wales for a couple of days (how beautiful the mountains and countryside were, I really do miss them).

I dug over yet another bed in which I planted 1 each of Wilja, Charlotte, Duke of York, and Maris Bard potatoes (all of which Maria had given me to try), 2 of Pink Fir Apple potatoes, and 6 Occa ( S. American tuber which apparently is like a lemony flavoured potato) which I’m trying for the first time. 

My next job, being as there was a fruit day just after Easter, was to prepare the new soft/cane fruit bed.  It was previously my wildflower bed, so first job was to transplant all the perennials I wanted to keep, this was most of them, although I only kept a small amount of Yarrow as it had formed a pretty big clump and spreading.  Once this was done, I dug over and weeded the bed, including where the strawberries were, moving a few of the alpine clumps but deciding to discard the rest as they weren’t that productive last year so probably getting old.

My Spring Cauliflowers are currently in the middle of the bed, but for the moment I can work around them, especially since I had a quick peep into the heart of one of them and found a little cauliflower starting to form (so excited as I was beginning to wonder whether they were going to be a success). 

The bed prepared, I set about plotting where the supporting posts and plants would go.  I had a gooseberry, redcurrant, tayberry, blackberry and a grapevine to fit into a space of around 9sqm, quite a task, and I’m not sure whether I’ve given them enough room but I guess I’ll have to wait and see how they are doing.  I planted them all by first digging a good sized hole and incorporating some compost into the soil, before firming them in well and finishing off with a good watering.  I have yet to put the posts in, a job I’m not looking forward to as I’m not exactly that strong so recon I’ll need some help driving them in deep enough.

img_8621-fruit-plan.jpg

A quick sketch just to give you an idea of the layout. 

My final job was to plant out the peas I’ve been growing in some plastic trays at home.  I thought I was being rather clever as I’d read about the plastic gutter method, but as I don’t have any guttering I thought I’d try improvising with some plastic trays I had lying around.   I have to confess that the transfer of the contents to their final growing positions wasn’t entirely successful, I hadn’t accounted for the ridged shape of the bottom of the tray, so they didn’t slide out as easily as I’d hoped.  But still, they are now tucked in to their new bed under some fleece, and hopefully settling down nicely.

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