Friday, April 17

Fruity business

This is really to provide a snapshot of the state of out plot fruit as of Tuesday this week. Things are moving quickly as some fruit trees are playing catch up and other just carrying on with their normal timetable.

The plums and greengages are particularly late to flower this year. As it is one tree was pruned quite hard last year and as a consequence had no blossom on the pruned branches.

At this rate trees that blossom at differing time could all flower together and produce a spectacular display.

The thornless blackberry - Loch Ness and the very thorny tay berry are just leafing up. The tayberry will produce fruit first although Lock Ness does fruit early for a blackberry.
The cane fruit is leafing well now. Above is the purple raspberry - Glencoe. This produces canes more like a blackberry than a raspberry.

The autumn fruiting raspberries have been cut down and tidied. I removed at least three large bucket loads of bindweed root from around them. This is a real nuisance and no doubt there will be plenty left to regrow and attempt to strangle the raspberries come summer.

The summer fruiting canes were newly planted last year. All but the odd cane have made it and we are hoping for a decent harvest of summer raspberries this year.
Some fruits such as the jostaberry, gooseberry and currants have quite insignificant looking flowers but the bees just love them. The jostaberries in particular are loaded with flowers this year. Unfortunately the wood pigeons are partial to their fruit and also damage some branches when they land. Netting which may help isn't really an option.

Honeyberry flowers are quite attractive but the bushes are fairly new and haven't produced much yet. Rumour had it that they could be a disappointment. Blueberries too have attractive flowers but the only disappointment here is that they don't usually provide a decent crop..
The vines are just beginning to break. They were the source of another disappointment last year. Lots of bunches of grapes were produced which were growing well until the poor August weather slowed things down and consequently the grapes stopped growing.

The kiwi vine, that I forgot to take a photo of, is producing leaves. I wonder whether the male kiwi will deign to flower this year and give us some chance of fruit. 

Many people compare the start of their rhubarb harvest with ours and wonder why we are picking much earlier than they are. The photo below shows just how varieties can make a huge difference. The earliest variety is far more advance than the others.
One fruit that didn't disappoint last year was the quince. The fruit stopped growing in August but it is a late cropping fruit which picked up again in late summer and went on to produce a bumper crop.

As I said this is just a snapshot in time and no doubt on my next plot visit things will have moved on a pace - at least I hope that will be the case.

Can you guess which of our fruits I haven't mentioned - it's one that will have a post all to itself.

30 comments:

  1. I'm guessing peaches and nectarines. Maybe you can tell by now if your paintbrush pollination was successful. I daren't look too closely at mine. Lovely to see what stage all of your fruit is at. My rhubarb is definitely a later one. I'm off to the plot in a minute to see if there's any plum blossom yet. Do you grow cherries? I have a little one at the allotment and also a little one in the front garden. The first of my apple blossom has just opened (Ribston Pippin), and there's been one tiny bunch of blossom on one of the pear trees. There was a good harvest last year, so apparently this year the tree isn't bothering at all. It's a Beurre Hardy. The other one (Doyenne du Comice) has more blossom, but I rely on the first one to pollinate it. We shall see. It's lovely to enjoy all of the blossom at this time of year isn't it.

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    1. You're right CJ I didn't mention nectarines and peaches but that wasn't what I was thinking about as this post is about the fruit on the plot. Yes we do grow cherries we have Summer Sun cherry on the plot and as Stella cherry in a pot in the garden both have flowers at the moment we will have to wait and see whether they have fruit or not.

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  2. I'm guessing strawberries, because what is spring without strawberries. Or it could just because I got an email saying my strawberry plants are in the mail. I have to plant new ones every year to make sure I get some. They tend to get diseased very easily here.

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    1. That's right, Daphne strawberries are the fruit that I have missed out. You're also right that a plot isn't a plot without a bed of strawberries. Our strawberries last about three years before they need replacing.

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  3. All your fruit looks to be further along than mine, there's no blossom showing on anything yet other than the peach tree. I'm wondering if the apples will have a set back with being moved in to the ground from their containers. I'm guessing it's the strawberries you've missed, all tucked up in their new bed.

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    1. Our apple trees just have buds at the moment, Jo. Maybe some of your fruit varieties are later than some of ours. You are right like Daphne strawberries are the missing fruit but they are not all safely tucked in a new bed just yet.

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  4. You have a nice selection of fruit at your allotment. I believe you also have a peach tree and that is the one you will post about :)
    I am very dissapointed with my peach tree that I bought on line last year and, unfortunately, it died and showed no signs of life. I had to chuck it away...
    On the other hand I get excited seeing little blooms on my blueberry bushes!

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    1. L It's a shame about your peach tree, Aga. Our peach tree is in the greenhouse in the garden so it isn't the missing fruit in this post. At the moment I'm not sure whether Our peach tree has actually set any fruit or not.

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  5. The rhubarb photo is really interesting. I think I shall be investing in an earlier variety since I will only start to harvest ours next week and I have been craving a rhubarb crumble for weeks now.

    Like you, I am waiting for my first honeyberry harvest. I hope they're not disappointing. I think the foliage is pretty and the bees are attracted to the flowers, so even if I don't think much of the berries, I will keep the plants.

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    1. We have several varieties of rhubarb, Sarah to help extend the season. I've heard varying reports about honetberry berries we will just have to wait and see. As you said the bees do seem to like them.

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  6. Strawberries, please? Wasn't it last year you were starting off some new plants? I'm afraid all gardening is on hold for me now, so the work done is quickly being undone and I doubt I will get caught up this year so I shall live my gardening life vicariously through your garden and allotments.
    It is so wonderful seeing everything coming back to life again after winter, with such promises of harvests to follow!

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  7. Strawberries it is, Deb. You remember correctly we'd have started a new strawberry bed this year well maybe started isn't absolutely accurate as it has ended up more like two beds than just the one. It is good to see everything is bringing back to life again.

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  8. I think strawberries will get their very own post Sue....it's all looking wonderful...hope it turns out to be a good year for fruit!!

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    1. Spot on with regards ti the strawberries, Tanya

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  9. I have also noticed how the flowers of currants and gooseberry attract pollinators even if they are so small. Here the humming birds are particularly fond of them.

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    1. What they lack in size and colour the flowers must be rich in nectar, Alain. I wish we had humming birds

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  10. Your fruits are blooming very well. Guess whole Europe is having a later spring this year. My trees have started past week, and only the early cherries, everything else is dormant still. Berries are also late, only blackberries have buds now, red currants and raspberries still nothing.

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    1. Let's hope that summer makes up for it Leanan

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  11. I simply love this detailing of how all your fruit trees & berry bushes are doing at this time. I recently took a few snaps of my trees buds and realized that I have no idea what they are supposed to look like at different stages to see if the winter has done them in or not or how early or late they are - I'll definitely be keeping track from now on.

    I cannot believe you have bindweed there too - it is by far the worst of all the weeds we have. Whenever it's mentioned around here, everyone gives an exasperated grunt!

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    1. Yes bindweed is a real pest, Margaret. The flowers look lovely growing wild in the hedgerows but not when attached to vines trying to strangle our plants,

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  12. Oh what promise of beautiful blossom and tasty fruit to come Sue. I hope that the honeyberry rumours prove to be unfounded as I bought one only yesterday. We had our best grape harvest last year for several years but the vine is in a greenhouse.

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    1. Our old, greenhouse vine always earns its keep, Anna

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  13. What you need to protect your fruit from wildlife is a full fruit cage - stately home garden style ! Someone has got one on our allotments, a full walk-in cage that covers most of the plot which has plums, cherries, currants etc. However, I suspect a mortgage is required to purchase the netting needed for one. We made a mobile walk-in brassica tunnel (approx 4 ft wide) with plastic piping on canes, covered with butterfly netting, which has been a good investment.

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    1. We have a makeshift cage over our redcurrants Sand D. Elsewhere is impracitcal unless as you say we cage all the plots. Ideally we need a climate controlled biome which really would require a mortgage :)

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  14. I think April is one of my favourite times of the year, with all the buds, the start of things to come, and all the new growth.

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    1. Spring s my favourite time too, Kelli

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  15. I'm guessing white currant, sea buckthorn, blackthorn..
    Why did not you grow strawberry?

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    1. We do grow strawberries Nadezda, see my next post.

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  16. I looks like another good year for your fruit (fingers crossed against frost)! I spied the first strawberry flower on my plot after work today and have lots of redcurrant, black currant and gooseberry flowers too. Only 3 plum flowers though. I'm especially pleased with the blacurrants as I thought the plants were past their best after a poor year last year, but mulching thickly with the bramble trimmings and weeding out the invasive White dead nettle seems to have helped.

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    1. The plums are doing OK considering one suffered a severe chop last year,

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