All posts in category Fruit Garden
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on May 1, 2013
I’m really pleased to see flowers on my pineberry plants, I got the plants last spring and was really looking forward to tasting the fruit. However, my pineberries had other ideas and decided to go into crazy-reproduction-mode, insisting on throwing out runners at an alarming rate instead of fruiting. I tried snipping the runners off to encourage fruit to set but I couldn’t keep up, eventually I gave in and potted up runners instead.
Now I have plenty of Pineberry plants, the younger plants have flower buds forming too.
I’m looking forward to seeing the first fruits appear, they resemble a strawberry but are white in colour, rather than the usual red. They’re supposed to taste of pineapple and this is the reason I cannot wait to eat them!
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on April 25, 2013
An allotment visit was needed today to cut the autumn fruiting raspberry canes down. Autumn raspberry varieties fruit on the current years growth, cutting all canes down to ground level during February or March helps to direct energy where it’s needed, encouraging fresh new growth (canes) from the base. The new canes will eventually bear fruit in late summer/autumn.
It was quite cold in the wind and raining on and off, apart from one other plot holder we were the only ones there.
Here’s a reminder on how and when to prune summer raspberries http://thegardensmallholder.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/tiding-summer-fruiting-raspberry-canes/
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on March 16, 2013
At the beginning of the year I contacted David Lindsay at Mow it Sow it Grow it, to place an order for pineberries. Having read all about them I really wanted to grow them myself. Looking at pictures of pineberries, the fruits look very much like albino strawberries which are said to have a taste similar to pineapple. My parcel arrived early last week, inside the carefully packed box were 2 healthy plants, very similar to regular strawberry runners.
They are pricey, setting you back £15.99 for 2 plants. However, the fruit is pretty expensive to buy from a well-known supermarket here in the UK, long-term my plants should pay me back handsomely. Pineberry plants are available to buy bare rooted from other stockists, they are much cheaper although the quality is said to be ‘poor’, I personally cannot comment on that but if you’ve bought some this way I’d be interested to know how yours perform, more importantly how they taste.
If you fancy splashing out on a couple of plants pop over to http://mowitsowitgrowit.co.uk and place an order. I’m so looking forward to watching the fruits develop, I hope the taste lives up to my expectations.
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on May 28, 2012
As I was tidying the strawberry bed yesterday, I noticed the early varieties starting to flower. Wet from rain the night before, they glistened and glittered in the morning sunlight. Open flowers were laden with raindrops, offering water like tiny glowing goblets.
I can almost taste the strawberries to come.
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on April 14, 2012
I woke to a beautiful sunny day, I took the opportunity to take some early morning photos. Although the recent rain was needed, it was nice to have a break from it. The sun disappeared by mid-morning and the sky looked an angry grey, I felt sure the rain would be back. The sun burst through the gloom and stayed for the rest of the afternoon, allowing me to spend a long time in the garden.
I spent a few hours pottering around in the garden. Well I say “pottering” but what I really mean is I actually tackled a few jobs that I’d been putting off. My usual definition of pottering involves a bit of day dreaming, starting something and then moving on to something else without finishing what I started before, a bit of head scratching at why the garden looks messier than when I first started, oh and wondering where the time went.
Anyway, one of the jobs I was avoiding was to tidy up the strawberry bed. The plants went berserk last summer, sprawling runners rooting anywhere and everywhere. I potted up a few stray runners to plant out at my allotment and moved some that insisted on growing in the most awkward of places. The autumn raspberries were sending new canes out everywhere, I found one coming up on a path so I traced that back and took it out, then tackled others that were growing out of the boundary I had set for them.
I really enjoyed working in the warm sunshine, randomly sprinkling packets of wildflower mixes in a bed right next to the wildlife pond. Should be gorgeous in summer. I also sowed a few rows of parsnip (my trusty and favourite ‘Gladiator’) and ‘Resistafly’ carrot, a Nantes type with good resistance to the dreaded carrot fly.
Did you get outside in the sunshine today?
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on April 13, 2012
Last year I treated myself to a terracotta rhubarb forcer for my birthday, using the money I’d been given as a gift. The forcing jar spent much of the year nestled alongside the rhubarb looking rather stylish, eventually disappearing behind a jungle of rhubarb leaves. My rhubarb crown is just over 3 years old so I’m going to start forcing it. I grow Timperley Early rhubarb, as the name suggests you do get an earlier crop than other rhubarb, forcing this variety isn’t going to make that much difference with cropping time but what I’m after is the beautiful pink stems and sweet champagne flavour that forcing produces.
You can force established rhubarb by covering the crown with a forcing jar, an upturned dustbin or water-butt will do the job just as well. Doing this creates a dark and warm environment inside, forcing the stems into premature growth. Once you force a crown you should allow it to crop naturally the following year, forcing it year after year could seriously weaken it. Some gardeners force the same crown annually with no problems and would disagree with the advice above, I just tend to be a bit more cautious. A good tip is to grow 3 crowns, allow one to recover from being forced the previous year, force one and let the other crop naturally, when it should. However, keep in mind that rhubarb is a thug once established, each crown needs plenty of space and they’re hungry plants.
I’m looking forward to tucking into champagne flavoured crumbles and fools.
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on January 12, 2012
It’s a good year for autumn raspberries, how do I know? - because I’m still picking them! I grow Joan J autumn canes and they’re still exploding with huge plump fruit with no sign of stopping despite a few frosty nights. The fruits are much larger than our summer variety, being darker in colour creates a dramatic statement against a heavy grey autumn sky.
Cropping can start from July right through to October or early November, weather permitting. I notice they tend to get better and better as the temperature drops off, they’re not troubled by birds either so you get the lot.
The only downside is knowing what to do with them all!
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on October 19, 2011
Our young Marjorie’s Seedling rewarded us well this year with a decent yield of gorgeous deep purple fruits tinged with blue which I’m pleased to have captured in the photograph – they really are that stunning to look at. They’re not at all bitter or sharp and make good eaters, we’ve enjoyed eating them fresh from the tree without the need for pulling silly faces. Marjorie’s Seedling are good cooking plums too, a perfect choice for jam making and other scrummy plummy recipes.
If your garden is a frost pocket in spring then Marjorie’s Seedling may be the answer to succeeding with plums, flowering later than other plum trees it stands a better chance of setting fruit.
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on September 9, 2011
The summer raspberries are just about coming to an end now, they fruited well for new plants and being a mid to late summer variety they’ve been a real treat all summer long. Some of the canes are finished and looking scruffy so I decided to start the raspberry cane tidy up.
Canes producing fruit throughout summer will probably look tired and dead looking now, especially if they’re early fruiting varieties. Cut these canes down to just above ground level. You should have fresh new growth too, these are new canes which will produce fruit next year so don’t cut them down, tie the new canes onto the frame support instead.
Raspberries will appreciate an autumn mulch around the base with well-rotted manure or fresh compost. We had a bit of a glut with our summer raspberries even though I only planted 3 canes so I’d better look for some interesting recipes to store away for next year.
The autumn variety raspberries are fruiting now, I’ll never get tired of picking and eating raspberries – especially because they’re so expensive to buy!
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on September 7, 2011