Learning new skills on the Allotment

 In Allotment, Blog, Caley President, George Anderson

An interesting experience for us on Thursday with a demonstration of grafting. The bush apple, Adams Pearmain, has a bad attack of canker though you might not think it from the flowering. George Anderson came along to graft shoots from it onto a rootstock which was already on the plot so we should still have the variety growing on a healthy rootstock.

Adams Pearmain tree which has the canker.

Several weeks ago, some of last year’s shoots, called scion-wood, were cut off and buried to keep them dormant and now that there is strong growth on the apple, it was time to do the grafts. Essential tools are an extremely sharp knife, candle wax and matches and clear tape. Three grafts were done: two on the trunk and one on the single shoot left on the rootstock. They were tightly wrapped to keep them in place and wax dripped onto the cut ends to seal them. We shall see in two/three months whether the grafts have taken. The RHS website has more on the details of grafting fruit trees.

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After that was done,  the sowing continued with more rows of carrots, kohl rabi, beetroot and purple Milan turnips for succession and three rows of parsnips, variety Sabre. The first of the peas, variety Kelvedon Wonder, were sown though the mice might get them first but more have been sown at home in safety.

Caley President, Colin Ainsworth, sewing some peas.

Cabbage collars were put round the cabbages planted last week to help prevent cabbage root fly.

The grass had its first cut and the edges cut and straightened. The fleece and netting were taken off the strawberries to allow insects in for pollination.

Finally, the fruit was given a feed of the fertiliser fish, blood and bone and a small amount of watering was done on the sown vegetables since there has been so little rain.

Jobs for next week

  • Plant the cordon redcurrant
  • Weed round the currants, hazels etc
  • At home, sow courgettes, runner beans, winter crops of kale, sprouts, kalettes, leeks, broccoli
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