Well… What can I say, been busy will that work?! Or just lost the oomph to write anything over the summer. No, it can’t just be that! I reckon it’s the fabulous summer we’ve had, I’ve only just come inside… Well almost.
I’ve been so busy in the garden, visiting and having visitors that there has been no time to sit in front of the computer and chat, (oh yes and got a new one of those too).
I have been thinking about blogging, seeing my sisters weekly, if not more frequent posts reminds me, and have been planning the many gardening pages I want to write. I have been trying to work out the best format for garden posts and am coming to the conclusion that each vegetable needs it’s own section with photos of the processes and when to do stuff. However being in the Welsh hills our season is a little behind a majority of the population of Britain, so I’ll have to write the whole year for each veg or it’ll be too late for lots of people.
I picked some lovely apples yesterday from the trees I massacred in 2011, 24 big almost unblemished apples (I’d had a few earlier very sharp and used a couple of wind falls in the chutney I made last week). In 2011 they produced buckets and buckets of small apples with black blotches all over them, I did peel a lot and slice them into rings drying them on wooden spoons by the wood burner but the trees had got well out of hand. I had been dreading the thought of pruning them so hadn’t in 8 years, one was growing half way across the poly tunnel, not ideal! Last year we got nothing, I hadn’t expected anything and the weather probably didn’t help much. But I was really pleased this year, they just kept on getting bigger. The pears haven’t done as well from the pruning, maybe next year will be better. I picked 7 pears from one of the 3 trees and 2 from another, the wasps got a few earlier in the season.
We got a lot of water growth both years, I cut this years off in early September, most to the bottom, (after seeing advice to do so at Erddig a lovely House to visit near Chirk), I left a few with a couple of leaf buds, last years growth I cut off in early Jan so let’s see which works better!
There is only one really blotchy apple, at the back on the left, I haven’t managed to work out quite what is causing the blotching. It could be a number of things or several all together! Calcium or magnesium deficiency, or something to do with the air flow around the trees, some sort of fungal infection. Either way cutting them back really hard seems to have helped. I must remember to feed them, lime and a mulch of homemade compost over the winter might be a good idea and some wood ash in the spring. The problem with mulching around my trees recently is that I have found that this bunch of hens really love to root through it, moving it well away from the tree in the process, and probably eating all the good bugs and certainly all the worms! I’ll have to think of a way of stopping them.
I went against the grain a bit this summer and spent almost £100 on some moveable fencing to protect the outside veg beds from the marauding monsters, an excellent purchase see future post!