Tuesday, April 5

Here's hoping for a fruity year ahead!

My last post described how all the fruit bushes and trees seem to be either budding or flowering and inviting me to anticipate a bountiful fruit harvest. Well just to add to this - you may remember the fruit plants that I had from Victoriana Nurseries which have been growing in the greenhouse until such a time as we can plant them out.

We think we have decided where on the plot the Japanese Wineberry and Cobnut will be planted but as yet we are undecided on whether to plant the kiwi Issai on the plot or in the garden. For now the plants have been moved out of the greenhouse. All three plants are growing really well but my attention was caught by the kiwi. Firstly the leaves look nothing like the leaves of the kiwis growing on the plot but more importantly I spotted some tiny flower buds.

Unlike the kiwis on the plot this one should be self fertile so we shouldn't have the pollination issue that we had last year with the plot kiwis. Only one of the plants flowered meaning no pollination could take place. Issai is described as hardy and should flower in June which should avoid the frost. I wonder whether keeping the plant in the greenhouse will lead to it flowering earlier - if so I will throw some fleece over the plant if frost is forecast.

Just imagine if we manage to harvest a nectarine and a kiwi! I've looked back and our nectarine is Fantasia bought from Thompson and Morgan

After pruning the blackberry bush and yet again having to battle with vicious thorns I've also decided that I'd like to plant a thornless variety so does anyone have a recommendation. It needs to be fairly vigorous and have gorgeous berries.

By the way in case you are interested in using them Victoriana is offering a 10% discount to anyone buying from them using a link from any of our websites or blogs.

Tomato and flower seeds are germinating quickly under the Growing Light. They do tend to lean slightly into the centre of the 'garden' but I don't think (I hope) that this isn't a problem.

Our bird box with the web cam is still occupied and nest building is still going on - one bird which I think will be the female is in and out all day now. The male peeks in occasionally and has paid one visit to check things out but I don't think the male has much involvement in nest building. The latest snippets are available from the link on the side bar. 


  1. I need some advice / sympathy concerning plums... I have a Minarette Victoria Plum, which I have had for I think 4 years now (or it may be in its 5th year). It has so far produced hardly any fruit - 2 only, last year. Q: Is this normal for a tree of this age? I read somewhere that plums don't really start producing until 4 or 5 years. If it's not normal, what is likely to be the problem? The tree priduces a lot of leaf, but very few flowers. Any ideas?

  2. I'm not sure how old our plum trees were before they produced, Mark, as they are pretty old now - we did used to have a Victoria in the garden and I can't remember how quickly that fruited either but I don't think it was a really young plants when we bought it.

    As you say lots of information seems to imply that a plum tree has to be 4 or 5 before it will fruit so it seems that you need to be patient. If your minarette is on a dwarfing rootstock I'd expect it to fruit earler than a 'normal' tree.

  3. It will be great if you manage to produce a kiwi, I'll be watching with great interest. Glad to see the nest building is taking place, I can't wait to see the eggs hatch.

  4. I know where I could dig up some thornless blackberries for you :)

    It will be so wonderful for you if you get a nectarine and a kiwi!!

    I wouldn't worry about the seedlings leaning. I just move mine around so they have to lean in the other direction.

  5. I cant wait to see the plot when it gets going! It will surely keep my hopes up during our winter!
    Good luck with the Kiwis!

  6. You'll know if I do as I'll not be able to keep it to myself Jo. Blue tit still busy building today.

    Glad to know that a slight lean is OK Robin - the seeds are coming through really quickly!

    It's been the same for me watching the gardens in your part of the world growing, Phoebe

  7. Oh kiwi sure grow so fast. Hope you have many kiwi to harvest this year.

  8. They certainly do Diana - not sure how fast this one will grow as it is a mini kiwi - I don't know if this means that the plant will be smaller too. The ones on the plot are rampant!

  9. Mark - I've had this advice about your plum tree from Stephen at Victoriana.
    I have to say I am not experienced at all with Minarettes as these came about as a result of a failed idea for UK commercial fruit growers. As 'normal' Plums go, this sort of thing can happen as they can get a bit over-zealous in growing vegative growth and forget about fruiting. My advice would be some shock tactics by root pruning the tree - plunging a spade to full depth about 12" away from the stem all round which will sever root and make the tree think; this may not produce a result this year but should for next.

  10. Good luck with your kiwi, reminds me of a place we stayed at in the south of France were we ate dinner under a rambling kiwi, would be amazing to grow one like that in this country, it was covered in fruit.

  11. We had a similar experience in the South of France, Damo. A cottage set in the middle of a vineyard in an area where they distilled lavender filling the air with scent and a peach tree just outside the courtyard from which we could pick ripe peaches at will.

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  13. I have a thorn-less variety of blackberry and they are very tasty....i will see if I can find out what variety they were!!

    I wonder if your kiwi will turn out to be something that isn't quite a kiwi...it will be interesting to see!!

  14. The kiwi will be a bit different from the usual kiwi Tanya as the fruit are smaller and smooth skinned and don't need peeling (so it says)- we will see.

  15. Fingers crossed for your fruiting, a nectarine would be wonderful but I can't help thinking apricot might be a little easier?

    I am insane enough to badly want to try apricot this far north .....

  16. I think the nectarine may be a long shot BW but it does have pretty blossom - I was wondering about an apricot too - we have one that our plot neighbour grew from a stone but don't know whether that will every produce blossom let alone fruit!

  17. In Charles Dowding's "Organic Gardening" he reckons the worst danger to apricot is late frost because they blossom early. There's also quite a bit in Taste of the Unexpected (Mark Diacono).

    Wanting to have apricot here breaks all my rules about only growing plants which are happy to survive so close to the Scottish border ... sigh, such is life!!

  18. We all need a challenge BW - they do reckon that fruit such as apricots are being bred to be more hardy nowadays.


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