Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fruit Update...

This shows a bit of what I've been up to for the last year or so... have been planting a lot of fruit - including eight columnar fruit trees and four gooseberries (various) that you can see to the right of the carpet. It has been very exciting and refreshed my attitude to the allotment as I didn't put any trees in at all 'til maybe 2008 or '09.

The first was a James Grieve apple tree (the one that fell over last year due to so much fruit). I have resurrected it and it is laden again this year but coping much better with its new sturdy post. It is prone to Codling Moth though so I must get the grease bands sorted a bit better this year - it can't have helped last year that so many of the branches were touching the ground and giving the moths a leg up.

(having looked it up codling moth can fly - doh! the way to treat them is with pheromone traps in May and June. The grease bands stop the Winter Moth and others which eat little passages into the leaves of the trees -ed.)

This year we have already tasted some of the new Keswick Codling apples - discovered on a rubbish dump in Ulverstone in the 1780's. They are a luminously pale yellow/green with delicate flesh which yields easily to the thumb - and they have the most wonderful perfume of any apple I have known. Certainly one to look forward to each year which was the general idea of putting such a variety of fruit in in the first place.

The trees in the picture are (from left to right)

*Annie Elisabeth - apple
Grown by my Grandad Wilson at 1 Kenton Gardens when I was a child, as was James grieve
*
Irish Peach - apple
For eating straight from the tree when ready - allegedly fragrent to the taste
*
Keswick Codling - apple
Cooks to a froth - wonderful perfume - luminous - ridged like a dog's snout - delicate 'appley' flavour
*
Gorham - pear
For eating straight from the tree
*Jubilee - plum
For eating straight from the tree toward the end of August (two this year - juicy)
Advertised as an improvement on 'Victoria'

*???? - plum
For cooking toward the end of Sept
*Cox's Emperor - plum
Supposedly wonderful large juicy fragrent fruit but not many of them
*Rosemary Russet - apple
Bought in honour of my lovely sis but also because I really like Russeted apples
(Three on the tree in it's first year this year!)

The last two trees were put in this year in the dormant season whilst all the others were the year before. (9th April 2010 according to my records - ed.) The gooseberries: Early Sulpher, Golden Drop, Whitesmith and Lancashire Lad are also this year's additions.

I also put a half standard apple Jumbo in this year which should have big red and green apples in the fulness of time.

I also container-planted two blueberries 'Herbert' this year and have had a small but satisfying crop from them.

The sour cherry tree I pruned hard last year thinking it would come back and fruit this year. It didn't but is looking excellent again now and I am anticipating a heavy crop next year.

The strawberries were brilliant this year and will be getting a post of their own sometime.

The rhubarb you can see in the picture has recovered well after drying out earlier in the year and giving me a scare. I finally found a compost bin in a skip to force it with - much better than the old green bin from the council - and it is fantastic like that - only the second or third time I have done it and makes rhubarb a luxury and a thing of beauty.

*I must attend to the Tayberry soon and do a bit of weeding in amongst the raspberries

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