Friday, 11 September 2009
I have been enjoying a horticultural fest this week. A long overdue spell of settled sunny weather has provided me with the perfect excuse to potter in the garden and at the allotment. Amongst other jobs at the allotment, I have been tidying up the strawberry beds and cutting off the surplus runners to pot up. Now exactly what I am going to do with possibly 70 odd new strawberry plants, I am not quite sure but I am planning to have a new strip of land to fill at the allotment. When I took over the plot a good part of one length of it consisted of a sparsely planted border, a ramshackle cold frame and a huge patch of comfrey. The border will remain but the comfrey and the cold frame are coming out. The cold frame is falling apart and has always been too heavy for me to open and close with ease. The comfrey is not the much desired Bocking 14 variety but alas the sort that seeds itself everywhere. I suppose I should not let it flower but it is a veritable bee magnet and I do not want to deprive the bees. I will leave one plant tucked in the corner at the far end. So what is going to fill this new patch? The plan is to fit in three apples trees and a pear tree this autumn. These will be small trees on M27 or M9 rootstock. Monty Don explains the different rootstocks here. Allotment rules forbid planting trees that might cast shadows on neighbouring plots but I think that I will get by with planting small trees. My allotment neighbours did this about three years ago and have not yet fallen foul of the allotment inspector. We are hoping to go Ornamental Tree Nurseries near Leominster in the next month,where at this time of year you are able to not only see the trees in growth but also taste the fruits. 'Katja' or 'Katy' is the only variety that I have more or less decided on so there is more research to be done. Any recommendations would be welcome. As for the strawberry runners those that take can fill in any space that is left. You can never have too many strawberries !