Thursday, 23 February 2012

Signs Of Life

The strawberry plants which I overwintered in the greenhouse are springing back to life, reminding me that I need to get a bed dug over at the allotment ready to accommodate them. These are Sonata, a mid season variety, and I also have some Flamenco which are everbearers. I cleared my old strawberry patch at the end of last year as the plants are only productive for between three and four years. I do so hope that I get a good haul this year as my daughter and I absolutely love them.

I've been wondering whether or not I should get an apple tree. I don't have room in the ground for one so it would have to reside in a large pot, but seeing how well my container grown cherry tree did last year, I've come to the decision that I'm going to buy one. I've had a look at the local nursery and they do apple trees on dwarf rootstock, which is what I need if I'm going to keep it in a container. A variety which took my eye is Gloster which produces red apples and is self-fertile, so I think this is the one I'm going to settle on.

The blackcurrant bush which I bought last year is still in the container I transferred it to after I'd brought it home. Getting it planted at the allotment is another of those jobs which I didn't get round to doing, so that's another job I've got to do as soon as possible. The jobs are stacking up already and we're not yet out of February, I think it's going to be a busy year.


  1. Isn't that always the way with jobs Jo...even when you think you have cleared your list you can mentally refill it again in about 5 seconds. It's giving decent weather for this weekend though so maybe you will get a few cleared off that list...i know I'm hoping to!!

  2. Dear Jo, My strawberry plants have spread so much -- I'm going to need to pull some out when the ground thaws. Would you have room to espalier an apple tree? I've always wanted to try that method. I miss blackcurrants -- they don't grow here. P. x

  3. Am I too late for Strawberry plants if I haven"t got them already? Oh I am such a newbie but keenie!

  4. My strawberry runners are in the cold frame but from the last look at the plot strawberry bed it looks as though most of the ones planted last year have survived so I could end up with lots of plants this year!

  5. My strawberry patch is going to be dug up this year - I wasn't impressed with the quality of the fruit (too soft) so I'm giving the space over to sweet corn and starting afresh with a different variety. I think I'll try container grown - should save my back at harvesting time!

  6. I know just what you mean about the jobs stacking up. Compost bins to finish off, fruit trees to winter wash, greenhouse staging to repair and I really must pot our kiwi into a bigger pot and good compost. Then we'll have to find somewhere for those strawberry runners in the cold frame.

  7. So glad your Strawbs survived :)
    We want to try and grow some this year but I'm still waiting to see a bargain :)

  8. great choice in apple tree they are a really tasty apple,one of the "old boys" on my allotment grows that variety (along with about 10 other varietys!) he gave me a few last year.
    i agree with the statment about the jobs already stacking up and spring isnt even here yet!

  9. I nearly bought one of those dwarf fruit trees the other day. Unfortunately the ones I was admiring were in a garden centre in Stratford on Avon, and it wouldn't have been practical to buy one there!

  10. Hi Jo I love strawberries too, you can't beat picking them warm straight from the plant. How big is the pot you are growing your cherry in and what variety is it? Cherries are my favourite fruit but I don't have space in my garden for one.

  11. I thought it might be quiet until sowing starts, Tanya, but that's not the case. I have plenty to do at the plot too as I never got round to giving it a winter dig.

    I didn't realise that blackcurrants don't grow there, Pam. I don't really have anywhere for an espalier, but I think growing in a container will solve my space problem. Strawberries soon ramble all over the place given the chance, it's a bit of a job to keep on top of them.

    You're not too late, Grace. My plants are only being overwintered in the greenhouse as I bought them at the back end of last year and it was too late to plant them out. You'll definitely be able to pick some up but be careful of the price you pay, some places charge well over the odds for them.

    Lots of plants is good, Sue. The more you have, the more fruit you'll get, and that's always good.

    Lots of people grow their strawberries in containers, Caro. You should notice that they're alot cleaner too as the earth won't splash them when it rains, and hopefully, slugs won't find them either.

    We think we're going to get a rest out of gardening season, Martyn, but all we do is see all the jobs which need doing and which we never got round to. I bet I still have a list as long as my arm when the season gets going.

    I've picked up a few bargains on the Gardeners World in conjunction with Thompson and Morgan site, Mo. I don't know if there's any offers on strawberries at the moment, but you could have a look.

    It's great to hear that you have tried the variety, Stacy. Thanks for the thumbs up, I'm definitely going for that variety now.

    What a shame you were so far from home when you saw the tree, Mark. Perhaps you'll come across another which is more local. They're a great space saver for those of us with small gardens.

    I'm growing my cherry tree in a half barrel, Wellywoman. It's a Stella. It produced one cherry the first year I had it, three cherries the second year, and last year when it was in it's third year I got a fantastic harvest. I'm hoping for the same again this year.

  12. It's always reassuring to see signs of growth Jo. My runners had to be tough customers as they have stood outside in a crate all winter. Must have a close inspection to see what they are up to. Good luck with the choice of apple variety :)

  13. My strawberries didn't do very well last year outside but the ones in pots in the greenhouse were better. As you say, you can't beat a warm strawberry straight from the plant.

  14. I recently tidied up my strawberries, which didn't do too well last year.
    I keep thinking that I'd like a small apple tree on the plot. Flighty xx

  15. The apple tree I planted last year died when the chickens dug it back up (who would have thought of that?). I may plant another one this year. I am not sure yet. I did just plant 30 new strawberries so we'll see how it goes this year.

  16. I'm sure your strawberries will be fine, Anna, they're tough plants. Mine were only overwintered in the greenhouse as they were delivered late in the season and looked in a bit of a sorry state. They seem to be doing ok now though.

    I've always done well with my strawberries, Elaine, so I'm hoping that these new ones will continue the success. I should imagine you can get an early harvest if your containers are kept in the greenhouse.

    I hope your strawberries do better for you this year, Flighty. The small apple trees on a dwarf rootstock are ideal if you're short on space as they don't grow quite as vigorously.

    I can't imagine a chicken digging up an apple tree, Becky. That's not one of the things you imagine happening. I hope you have more success if you decide to plant a new one.


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