Sunday, December 9

Now for the fruit

Now for the fruit that cropped as expected again I have made some allowance for the weather as to be honest we were really pessimistic about our chance of having a decent fruit harvest.

After the pears failed to produce we weren't expecting much from the apples. Although the fruits were on the small size with quite a few developing rot we managed to gather a reasonable harvest. We are still using apples that are being stored in an old fridge. As is usually the case the trees in the garden produced better fruits than the ones on the plot but then again the ones on the plots are either old and cankerous or quite young. A summary of how each variety cropped is here. The prickly blackberry fedge that has been a feature on our plot for as long as we have had the plot provided us with it's usual bounty and made perfect partners for the apples.
The tayberries produced a mass of fruit but unfortunately much of this was spoiled by the rain which pelted down on it a just the point when the berries were ripening. The fruits seemed more susceptible to rain damage than either the raspberries or the blackberries. This is surprising as the berries seem to be made of sturdier stuff than the other similar fruits.
The blackcurrants provided us with plenty of fruit although there was variability in the amounts being produced by each bush - even those of the same variety. One variety, the earlier ripening, Ben Connan, did out perform the other two varieties. Ebony had a non productive year which I blame on an aphid infestation.

The gooseberries too didn't really produce as many fruits as usual and in general the berries seemed a bit smaller and the red ones out performed the green ones. On reflection I think my assessment of them as cropped as expected is on the generous side.
The last of the fruits in this category are the strawberries. The alpines maybe didn't produce as much fruit as usual but kept up a steady supply. Over all we harvested about 3.5kg. Harvesting started at the end of June and continued into mid October.
Then there were the 'ordinary' strawberries although home grown strawberries can never really be described as ordinary. In many ways the strawberry harvest was disappointing in that much fruit was either spoiled by the rain or didn't ripen. There was also an issue with effective pollination. The perpetual variety Flamenco (with just over 5.5kg) as expected cropped over the longest period, Marshmello (just under 10kg) out performed all the other varieties. Marshmarvel (almost 2.5kg) the early variety didn't produce fruits any earlier than Marshmello and Amelia the late season variety (at less than 0.5kg) fared the worst. Taking into consideration the weather that the strawberries had to contend with, they really performed beyond expectations and maybe deserve to have been placed in the next category up but in the end they have ended up as top of this class!



Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments http://glallotments.blogspot.co.uk/ author by S Garrett

18 comments:

  1. Hiya Sue! It's really great looking back at your crop and seeing what did well and what didn't go quite to plan! I must say that your crops look absolutely spectacular!

    I've had a funny year and things which don't normally do well (peppers and broccoli) have been amazing! We only just picked our last pepper and we still have some in the kitchen to get through! The broccoli was gorgeous and I want to do more next year, despite fighting with Adam about even putting it in this year because of previous year's disappointments..

    My beans were also amazing (my friend gave me some of her parents' seeds from Selby) but no one else on the plot had anything near.

    My tomatoes were the best ever and I can only assume it was the new heated propagator but my courgettes, pumpkin and squash failed completely?? I normally have marrows galore, too many to cope with, this year I had one courgette!!! Just one!! out of about 6 plants and one minute pumpkin. Yet other people on the same allotments as me grew them fine? Strange isn't it? I was devastated that one couple actually just left their pumpkins to rot. I was haunted by them everywhere I went!

    My potatoes were poor, the first time in 9 years they didn't do much? Everything else, as expected.

    Yep, a strange old year! I'm still really looking forward to next year though :)

    Lovely series of posts Sue, it's great having a glimpse back at your plot and seeing what you do with your crop :)

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    1. It is strange, Anna, It could well be that soil in different areas of your site has different levels of moisture or even is more sheltered and has it's own microclimate - who knows? At least growing a range of things means that you improve your chances of having something do well.

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  2. Hooray for the Strawberries! People who only shop in supermarkets don't know what they are missing. Your photo shows something that you don't see with supermarket strawbs: the hull coming out in one piece and leaving a hole in the fruit. Normally you have to slice off the hull because it won't pull out.

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    1. Very true Mark. I usually try to keep the hull in until I have rinsed the fruit but often it just slips out too easily.

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  3. It all looks delicious, especially the strawberries, my favourites. I'm wondering how you train your tayberry, it's something I never considered when I bought mine.

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    1. I treat the tayberry as I do the blackberry, Jo. Cut out all the canes that fruited and retain a limited number of the strongest new canes - maybe about four or five to a clump. We have several clumps along the 'fence' that may have been separate plants or may be where tips have rooted and produced a new plant(as it was inherited with the plot I don't know for sure but I'd go with the latter).

      Then I fasten the canes into to wire fence against which it grows bending down the ends and fastening them to the 'fence'. Alternatively I weave long canes into the wires.

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    2. Thanks for that, I'm going to have to give more thought to where I'll plant it on the plot.

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  4. That's a lot of berries! My vegetables never do well this year! I have almost zero tomatoes harvest! sigh....

    How does tayberries taste like?

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    1. A tayherry is somewhere between a raspberry and a blackberry, Malar

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    2. Meant a tayberry but I suppose you guessed that

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  5. Those strawberries look sensational. How many plants do you have?

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    1. We have a dozen each of four varieties that cropped this year, Liz although two varieties didn't crop too well. We also have another strawberry bed newly planted from runners last year with the same number of plants but planted closer together. The idea was for these to build up so they could replace the main bed when the plants have exhausted.

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  6. I'm impressed by your fruit harvest. Looks great. Much better than I could ever imagine doing.

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    1. We do have lots of fruit planted though, Kelli

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  7. What a delicious looking harvest, and has me pondering, yet again, how much fruit I can fit in where...

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    1. When you consider the cost and taste of shop bought fruit it certainly is worth growing Janet. It can also produce a decorative plant. For instance blueberries have pieris like flowers and autumn colour, fruit trees have lovely blossom especially quince. Some apple trees even have pink blossom and peach trees have delicate pinky blossom. These type of trees and bushes would be equally at home in ornamental borders with the added bonus of fruit.

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  8. Some great fruit there Sue...I didn't get any apples or pears this year...however we did have a good plum harvest!

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    1. Does your plum fruit every year Tanya?

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