Monday, April 9

Fruity News - Part 1

I was going to give you an update on how all our fruit bushes and trees were doing in the garden and on the plot but looking through my photos, I decided that would end up as one very long post. So I've decided to split it in two. Starting with the garden and greenhouse as they are nearest to hand.

I'll start outside with our John Downie crab apple tree. I must admit after once making crab apple jelly with the fruits we have treated this as more of an ornamental than a productive tree. It's not that the jelly was unsuccessful but we just don't really eat jams and jellies. At the moment John Downie is as usual producing lots of buds which give a lovely display when they are all open. It's going to be interesting to see what happens this year as the favourite feeding place of the pair of bullfinches that have started to be regular visitors is the old bird table that you can see nestling amongst the branches. These birds are said to cause big problems in apple orchards by stripping the buds so will they leave our buds alone and stick to the seed that we put out?









Quite close to this is the medlar tree again mainly planted for decorative purposes - we once made medlar jelly and did try to eat the fruits after bletting them but they tasted very yeasty. This tree is just leafy and no flower buds are yet visible.



















Moving behind the greenhouse we come to first the strawberries in the cold frame. I couldn't resist potting up some runners that the plants on the plot threw out with great determination. I rationalised that I may lose some plants over winter and these could be replacements but it seems most plants on the plot have survived. Can you have too many strawberries?

Moving on to the apples - these are what remains of some apples that we used to have as cordons along the fence. They somehow survived the big chop to grow sneakily into sort of trees. We're glad they did as they produce lovely apples and are now in bud.
Close by right behind the greenhouse is a Conference pear which also was once a cordon. It produces lots of fruit - some of which can cause a problem by falling through the greenhouse roof. Much of the glass under the tree had been replaced with acrylic sheets which can withstand pears dropping onto them better. The pear is in full flower - just hope we don't get a keen frost to spoil the blossom and that there are enough insects braving the cold to pollinate the flowers.
If you look in the top right hand corner of the above photo you can see the peach tree that is planted in a large pot by the greenhouse door. This is also flowering although sadly the flowers look a little sorry for themselves. Again it needs some insect activity. It has lots of flowers but will it have fruit?
Moving inside the greenhouse we have our new nectarine which also has produced lots of flower. I've been tickling the flowers but will I have been as effective as a bee - I doubt it. Now we can compare the blossom to the peach outside I can see why T&M realised that we had the wrong tree. nectarine blossom is much paler.
Across from the nectarine is the fig that 'died' last year and rose from the dead. We've never had any figs yet that have grown to maturity so maybe this year will be a a first.  Don't look at the untidy greenhouse - we would tidy up but there never seems the space to do so without damaging plants! Well that's our excuse!
Moving further into the greenhouse is the Issai kiwi that is now flourishing and producing lots of buds - it did this last year but then gave up. We hope repotting into an ericaceous compost will mean it happily produces fruit this year.
Behind that is the new apricot which has no sign of flower but is looking fairly healthy - no apricots this year then!
Finally the grapevine is bursting into growth - once it gets going there will be no stopping it. The flower clusters are developing at the same time as the leaves. 
Now you can see why I decided not to put all the fruity news on one post!

By the way I've popped some extra tabs at the top of the blog so that if you like you can keep 'tabs' on the things we sow and harvest each month. Martyn is also logging germination times. And don't forget the latest competition - if you don't enter then you definitely won't win will you?



28 comments:

  1. I have green house envy,lovely looking trees.

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    1. I hope we get beautiful looking fruit too Cathy

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  2. It's all looking superb, and to answer your question, no such thing as too many strawberries!

    I have a John Downie crab apple waiting to go in the ground and it too will just be ornamental. It's good to hear you say that you don't eat much in the way of jams & jellies, we don't either :}

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    1. Jams and jellies have far too much sugar in for us BW. We just stew the fruits with as little sugar as we can and freeze. This we use as we used to use jams i.e. in yoghurt, on porridge/rice puddings etc as wee as in crumbles and pies.

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  3. That's a lot of fruits to harvest this year! I think you won't run out of fruits any time of the year! Great!

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    1. Most years we get plenty of fruit Malar which is just as well as we eat a lot and supermarket fruit is tasteless.

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  4. Fantastic to have all those fruit trees, hope this year is a bumper harvest!

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    1. Fingers firmly crossed for peaches, nectarines and kiwi Damo!

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  5. No , definitely no, you can never have too many strawberries. Ditto apples, and peaches - hope yours fruit well.

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    1. A woman after my own heart Liz and I should think in your case ditto figs!

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  6. It's all looking good. We just want the weather and insects to cooperate now. You can never have too many strawberries. I've just bought some more from Aldi, they were selling them for £2.99 for a tray of 6, which I thought was good.

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  7. No problems with getting your Five A Day, I would imagine...
    I think it's great to have such a wide variety of plants. Much more interesting than growing huge quantities of the same thing. I must say though that I would LOVE to have a glut of Conference pears. Pickled pears are one of my all-time favourite foods. Last year my tree produced a total of 11 fruits. Nice as they were, it wasn't enough.

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    1. No problem at all Mark. We do get gluts of some things - some years - but gluts we can cope with, there's always someone happy to take any that we can't use off our hands. It's the lean years that I don't like!

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  8. Strawberry never enough here for our 2 small pair of hands. Your greenhouse residents are doing really well.

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    1. Or for two pairs of bigger ones Diana!

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  9. It's so nice to see all the fruits coming into bud.....but it seems like it will be such a long time before we can pick those first juicy berries!!

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    1. We just have to be patient Tanya and enjoy the anticipation.

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  10. And I thought I was a fruit tree addict - haven't got quite as many varieties as you due to limited space - but you can't have enough in my book

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    1. This is just the tip of the iceberg Elaine - I haven't mentioned the plot yet and as you say you can never have too much fruit!

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  11. Crikey. I thought you had a lot of rhubarb but you've got even more fruit! Looks good though.

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    1. Oh dear Woody! Did you see the bit that said part one - I haven't told you about the fruit on the plot yet!

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  12. Wow, that's alot of fruit. I always think of fruit as difficult to grow but suppose I need to branch out a bit and give it a go. (Fruit trees look great this time of year too!)

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    1. Once planted and with a bit of pruning if necessary it tends to look after itself Kelli. If you want a spring ornamental tree a fruit tree does that job and gives you fruit! We don't prune the plums on the plot, or the apple and pear behind the greenhouse or the crab apple.

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  13. The strawberries I got were Christine, an early variety, and I think the others were Red Gauntlet, a late variety.

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  14. The fruit trees are wonderful, I think I need to find room for some in my garden. You were right about my strawberries throwing off runners, they already are, I don't think I will be saving them this year but I suspect like you I will Soon have too many. Got my Rhubarb plants this week and they are already looking nice..

    As a slight off topic, do you grow asparagus? I have just planted my bed and they are already growing tips, I didn't think you should get them in the first year so I am bit stumped as to what to do with them, should I cut them offf and throw them away or leave them, any advice great fully received

    www.lorrainesvegpatch.blogspot.com

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    1. I've never grown asparagus Lorraine - we that's not strictly true as I have some I grew from berries that produces fern amongst the flower.

      Anyway everything says not to harvest during the first year and let the plant produce lots of ferny growth. Apparently the longer you leave it after planting without cutting the better it becomes. Some recommend leaving it three years but I can't see many people doing that. You should also stop picking in the middle of June and allow the new shoots to produce fern to 'feed' the plant.

      Anyone growing asparagus got anything to add for their experiences?

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