8 May 2009

The Orchard (Week 18)

I think tonight we will have a little look at whats going on in the orchard. As you will see the Apple blossom is almost coming to an end, hopefully this will be followed by some baby apples. There are seven apple trees in all, some have set fruit already and then there are a couple that are still quite in blossom.

The Strawberries are just coming in to flower. I grow these in a narrow strip of soil at the base of the west wall so the plants face east and get all the morning and early afternoon sun. This strip of ground is where the previous gardener did the standard council spraying thing around everything the mowers can't reach. I prefer to till the ground instead and so grow strawberries there. Its a bit more work keeping it clean but it looks better and tastes better! By the way, talking of Strawberries. If you grow new plants its best if you can avoid having them produce any fruit in the first year. This is a very hard thing to do but it apparently helps the plant to fruit better in the next years. Strawberries should be grown for three years only as after that they fruit less and smaller so the idea is to replace a third of the strawberry bed each year. You can replant in the same ground and you don't need to buy in new plants every year as the runners the strawberries produce in abundance every summer can be used as replacement plants. Either let them root around the mother plants or root them in to small pots.

On the same wall, in fact the strawberries grow around the base of this cherry tree. This is the second year of fruiting and looks like it will have plenty of fruit on it later.

1 comment:

EB said...

Great idea. I love strawberry plants and I put them along the edge of a low wall that's a pain to weed otherwise. They smother most things, apart from some sweet woodruff I planted about three years ago. This did what ground cover often seems to, ie not much for a couple of years and then set off for world domination!