It is late October and the end of the gardening year fast approaches. I have had a busy time sorting out an existing plot and swapping my other plot for an adjacent plot which has a fruit cage. Sounds confusing I know! This new plot has always been a problem since it is in a dip and is prone to flooding. Consequently half of the plot was sown by the previous tenant with grass and the other dryer half has the fruit cage and some vegetable beds. Below is a photo – you can see work begun on digging over the beds to remove weeds and couch grass with the fruit cage behind.
So I will in future have one and a half plots instead of two – which is enough for my needs. Below is an end on shot of the fruit cage – you will see that at this stage I have begun to lay down chipping as a mulch. The apple and pear trees on the right have been pruned back. On the left are some fruit bushes – I have planted cultivated thornless blackberries and at the far end I have also planted some autumn fruiting raspberries.
In my next blog I will show the completion of this work. I am also renewing the perimeter fencing around the plot and I have strengthened the sides of the fruit cage by digging trenches and running chicken wire along the bottom of them; attaching the chicken wire to the cage meshing with plastic-coated wire using the hitch stitch.
Thoughts are also turning to the grass area at the bottom of the plot. Here I am thinking of digging some holes and planting more fruit trees – maybe a quince and a plum? More on this as it happens. It would be a shame to leave the ground unproductive.
Turning to my existing plot. This is divided into two areas: a micro orchard with apple and pear trees and rows of raspberry plants, goosberry, redcurrents and blackcurrents. There are also several rhubarb plants. The other part of the plot is for vegetables.
Here is an end on view from the corner showing both parts and the new fencing I have just installed to keep out rabbits. Below is a photo of the fruit area shown in more detail.
One final shot looking back over the vegetable area shows my asparagus bed. In front of it I have just planted out a strawberry bed.
Planting Scheme For The Year Ahead:
Next year these beds on the existing plot (hereafter referred to as plot A) will be used to plant, in the following order: parsnips and broad beans, onions and garlic, turnips and beetroot, swiss chard, celeriac, carrots, dwarf beans and brassicas.
Next year I intend to grow potatoes on the new plot (hereafter plot B) and also pumpkins and squashes.
As we go into November I will be looking to carry on the work on Plot B but much will depend on the weather. Plot A is in good order now and much has been done to prepare the ground for next year. I still have some seasonal tasks to perform with the fruit area and some new raspberry canes to plant out. More on this next time.