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Cultivating a Bountiful Allotment: Blueberries, Rhubarb, and Fruit Trees Await Harvest

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Cultivating a Bountiful Allotment: Blueberries, Rhubarb, and Fruit Trees Await Harvest

Angela at her allotment
This week, I’m at my little allotment plot, growing some of my favourite foods – blueberries, rhubarb, a Granny Smith apple tree, and a Comice pear tree.

LISTEN TO ANGELA’S FEATURE!

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    Angelas Allotment 12 April Ginger and Nuts

Written by Angela

This week I’m speaking to you from my allotment!

I think you should always grow the things you love to eat because then you’ll look forward to harvesting them.

And with that in mind this week I decided to plant some blueberries, rhubarb and a couple of fruit trees.
Blueberries are so tasty and good for you; they can be scattered over pancakes and ice cream, baked in muffins, used in jams… or just eat them on their own like sweeties!…

I decided to plant three varieties, one called ‘Top Hat’ and two ‘pink’ Blueberries called ‘Pink Lemonade’ and ‘Pink Sapphire’.

I’ve never eaten pink Blueberries before so I thought I’d give them a try, as they’re meant to be sweeter than the usual blueberries…

… we shall see?

Angela at her allotment

Poisonous Leaves, Delicious Stalks: The Dos and Don’ts of Growing Rhubarb

I’ve also planted some good old Rhubarb!

But I’ll have to be patient because when you plant rhubarb, to let it grow strong you shouldn’t harvest it in its first season.

However, it’ll be worth the wait! Because rhubarb is such a brilliant addition to your allotment or garden, it’s hardy, has virtually no pests and will produce crops for at least ten years and often a lot longer!

It requires very little maintenance and can be used in lots of recipes from crumbles to chutney!

I like a helping of it stewed with some natural yoghurt for breakfast!

The three varieties I’ve chosen are…

‘Timperley Early’, which, as its name suggests, produces fruit early in the season.

‘Glaskins Perpetual’, which produces fruit over a long season and, Champagne, considered to be one of the best for forcing and for flavour.

One very important thing to mention here is that although Rhubarb is tasty and good for you, NEVER ever eat the leaves as they are Poisonous!

So, although it looks a bit like Chard, don’t the leaves, only the stalks!

Angela at her allotment

Savings Grow on Trees: Bare-Rooted Apple and Pear Saplings for Just £6 Each

The two fruit trees I’ve chosen are an apple and a pear, both young, bare-rooted trees.

Now is a good time to plant bare-rooted trees, but it’s fast coming to the end of the season, from autumn to spring when the plants are dormant. But you can still get some bargains!

Fruit tree growers often put the trees they dig up from fields into cool refrigerated warehouses to keep them dormant until they send them out to stockists!

Bare-rooted plants without pots or soil are cheaper than pot-grown ones due to less cost in transporting them, but crucially they are also quicker to establish!

The two young trees were just £6 each at my local B&M store (other stores are of course, available!)

I chose a Granny Smith apple tree, as they are great for baking and don’t turn brown quickly when cut, they can also be eaten raw if you like a really tart tasting apple?

Angela at her allotment

Here’s a fun fact about the Granny Smith!

Did you know that the Granny Smith apple was the one chosen for the logo of Apple Records and recording studios where The Beatles recorded?

Pear Perfection: Planting Tips for the Buttery-Soft ‘Comice’ Variety

The pear tree I’ve chosen is a Comice pear, or to give it its full and grand title ‘Doyenne du Comice’!

It’s a late fruiting pear, harvested between mid to late October and ripe to eat in November. It can be stored and, with some planning, can be eaten at Christmas time; it’s a gorgeous buttery, soft, juicy pear…. so that’s something to look forward to!

I will be planting another pear tree next week called a

‘Conference’ as Comice needs another pear tree for pollination.

When planting young trees, let them soak for a couple of hours first in a bucket of water for a good drink, and make sure to clear the area where you are planting your trees of all weeds and dig over, then dig out a planting hole making sure it’s big enough for the tree roots to have room to spread out and then plant the tree to just above the roots, to the old soil line if you can see it, but, not above the graft line, where the tree has been grafted onto its rootstock. You should be able to see this as it looks a bit like a knuckle.

Make sure that the tree is sitting nicely in the hole, fill it with soil, making sure there are no air pockets around the roots and then gently firm in with your heel.

Push a stake or a sturdy cane into the soil alongside the young tree when planting for support and tie-in.

I should mention that with all of the fruit I’ve planted this week, I’ve added some compost to the soil and a good dusting of Blood, Fish and Bonemeal, a good all-round organic fertiliser.

I also added granulated seaweed, which you might prefer to use as a fertiliser if you’re vegetarian.

Angela at her allotment

Written by: Kat Y (Ginge)

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