Six on Saturday 13/5/2017

Six on Saturday, or SOS; appropriate because my allotment seems to be constantly under assault by pests. Gooseberry sawfly is far worse than I’ve had before, I squash hundreds, the next day they’re all back again. And I thought the slugs had been chewing my cabbages, turns out it’s rootfly. Nematodes will be ordered and applied asap.

Gooseberry sawfly caterpillars, masters of hiding in plain sight.

More positively, as far as allotmenteering goes, I shall consider starting peas in pots again. Peas are one of the very few things I seem to be able to sow in the ground and actually get to grow. It saves planting them out and it saves on space. The ones I did in pots though, have really hit the ground running, so for an early start, and perhaps then an early finish, allowing something else to follow on, doing them in pots could be the way.

Pea Onward, sown in 9cm pots.

Back in the garden but still on produce, my late flowering Suntan apple is in full bloom. It’d be worth having for its ornamental qualities but I want a crop as well. I have now got a couple of other late flowering trees planted nearby and with a few blooms on them, so I’m hoping for an improved fruit set this year. I spur prune this tree in August, cutting everything back to an inch or two. It’s doing well on it as far as flower goes, I just want a decent crop too. The Echium put itself there. Shame that won’t pollinate the apple. Does a fair job of attracting pollinators though.

Apple Suntan and Echium pinniniana.

My Victoria Plum is self fertile, and has set a huge crop this year. Learning from past mistakes, I shall thin them so I get a reasonable crop of good sized plums rather than thousands of tiddlers. Plum jam; can there be anything better?

Victoria Plum. Too many plums, what’s that about?

I’ve neglected the ornamentals. We used to have a pond, but every year the frogs indulged in a frantic orgy and filled it with spawn, which then all died leaving the whole mess stagnant and stinking. I got fed up of cleaning it out and filled it in with soil, leaving the liner in place but putting a crow bar down through to provide some drainage. It’s now full of moisture lovers like Astilbes and Primulas. The Lysichiton camtschatcensis that used to be a marginal is still there, does less well but OK. Not a bad year for Hostas so far; a bad year for slugs is a good one for Hostas, and much else besides.

Astilbes, Primulas and Hostas.


Six on Saturday is a newly hatched meme hosted by The Propagator. Hopefully others will be chipping in and links will be appearing on his blog.

One thought on “Six on Saturday 13/5/2017

  1. I have a vic plum but it’s less than a year old. I’m fan training it, or attempting to. I don’t think I’ll get any fruit this year. I have a cutting of it which rooted so hopefully that’ll get to a decent size this year and set fruit next year too. Plum jam tomorrow, to misquote someone. Harold Wilson maybe? Enjoy the rest of your weekend.


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