Monday, 12 March 2012

Decision Made

I've been contemplating getting a small apple tree for sometime now. I don't have room to plant a tree in the ground, but after seeing how well my cherry tree has done in a half barrel container, I decided that I'd give an apple tree in a container a go too. I didn't want to get more than one apple tree so I had to look for a self-fertile variety, and luckily, my local nursery had quite a few different ones in stock, many of them suitable to be grown in a container. We decided on Gloster in the end, a lovely red skinned variety with crisp flesh. My parents had given us some money for our twentieth wedding anniversary in 2010, and we've been waiting to find the perfect present to spend it on and this is it.

It's been a lovely weekend weather wise, so I set to getting my leek and sweet pea seeds sown. I'm growing Musselburgh leeks. I've sown them earlier than I usually do, so I hope they do better for me this year. I've never done very well with leeks before, they always seem to grow very spindly. The sweet peas I've sown are from a collection by Suttons. There are five different varieties in the pack, which I bought for 50p in the Wyevale sale. This was marked down from £4.75 so I got a bargain there. The varieties are White Ensign, Noel Sutton, Air Warden, Mrs R.Bolton and Beaujolais. I'm hoping to have some in the garden as well as at the allotment.

Hubby was busy in the garden yesterday. He emptied the compost bin which was full of lovely compost. It will now be spread on the beds at the allotment. He'd been digging over some beds on Saturday, and the new strawberry bed is just about finished so I'll be able to get the plants set out soon. He also washed down the greenhouse for me and put the mini plastic greenhouse inside so that it gives any seedlings a little extra protection. It means I can start seed sowing in earnest now.


  1. |Sounds like you had a great weekend. It certainly was lovely weather to get in the mood for gardening. Good luck with your leeks this year...I have just sown mine and always do around this time so I hope you get some healthy thick stems!!

  2. It was a lovely weekend wasn't it? Sounds like you're going to have loads of sweet peas. You can never have too many in my opinion. I need to sow my leeks this week. I've cleaned out my cold frame so I've got plenty of space, well for the moment anyway.

  3. I'm planting sweet peas, too!
    The packet I have says, Early Maturing Alaska. I planted March 1, and they are just now beginning to show their heads. We've had rain and more in the forecast. I expect to see more coming up as they have had a good watering.
    Happy Gardening!
    Lea's Menagerie
    Mississippi, USA

  4. Our leeks and sweet peas are sown too - earlier than usual like you. Must admit we have rather a lot of sweet peas too. Lots of dead heading to come!

  5. It was a toss up for me between a apple or pear tree for the allotment but in the end we choise the pear, but we may indulge in the autumn and get a apple aswell (both dwalf) I sowed some sweet peas today too and like you mine were in the sale from wyevale last october. our store has now change its name but is still the same shop.

  6. Bravo to Hubby for taking on all the hard labour - unglamourous but very necessary tasks. Shifting home-made compost is no easy matter!

  7. Hope that your apple flourishes Jo - planting a tree is a great way to commemorate an anniversary. Snap when it comes to the sweet peas - we are growing the same selection except mine are under the Carters label. I paid £2, which I thought was more than reasonable as there 20 seeds in each packet, so I have left overs for next year too :)

  8. I would love a fruit tree but really we dont have any room for one.We left a victoria plum at our old house and our ex neighbours told us last year was a bumper harvest! Not what I want to hear.
    I am going to get some strawberries though and find a spot for them.

  9. What a great idea! I'll be curious to see how your tree does! I've always wanted fruit trees. Our yard is so tiny....but I may just plant some someday anyway!~

  10. A very productive weekend then. Hope the apple tree goes well.

  11. It was great gardening weather at the weekend, Tanya. It's nice to be able to get out and get something done again.

    It won't be long until your coldframe is heaving with all the seedlings, Wellywoman. I think it's the calm before the storm at the moment.

    I didn't sow any sweet peas last year and really missed them Lea. I'm making sure that I'm not without again this year.

    It's nice to have plenty of sweet peas, Sue. I shall grow some at home as well as at the allotment.

    Our Wyevale has also changed it's name, Stacy, but I still call it Wyevale. I always pick up lots of seeds in their 50p sale. I'm already thinking of getting another tree, I don't know what though yet.

    I'm afraid that I leave lots of the more laborious tasks to Hubby, Mark. He doesn't mind though, he quite enjoys a good workout.

    I hope we both do well with our sweet peas, Anna. Funny that we chose the same selection. The apple tree will be a nice reminder of our anniversary.

    Strawberries are my favourite, Anne, I'm making a new bed for some new plants this year. I wouldn't have room for a tree either if I didn't grow them in a container.

    I've had a cherry tree in a container for three years and it did really well last year, Heather. I'm hoping that my apple tree will do just as well.

    Thanks, Martyn. We made a start at the weekend, but there's plenty more still to do.

  12. The nice thing about growing your trees in barrels is that you can move them around your garden when the fancy takes you...providing you have a forklift of course ;)

    I've also had issues growing leeks in the past as well. The seed packets always say to sow in March/April and I've always followed the directions to the T. This year I followed the advice of a fellow gardener and sowed my seed indoors in early January. Fingers crossed for both of us! X

  13. Hi Jo!

    Good luck with the apple tree. We have one in a very large pot and we got about 10 apples off it last year in it's first year. New growth is just emerging for this year right now.

    I've never had too much luck with leeks from seed, but I'm trying again this year though. I have had great success with growing them from bought plants so that is the contingency plan.

    Martin :0)

  14. I shall be following your apple tree with interest as I'm thinking of getting one for the plot.
    That's a good selection of sweet peas,and a bargain price! Flighty xx

  15. Thanks for the reminder I'd forgotten about leeks!

  16. I always leave the moving of the half barrels to my hubby, Tanya, they really do have some weight in them. Hope the leeks do better for us both this year.

    I wasn't really expecting any fruit from the apple tree this year, Martin, so it's good to know that yours started performing straight away for you. I hope it does even better this year. It's always good to have a contingency plan.

    I'll be sure to update about how the apple tree does, Flighty. The sweet peas were a real bargain. I always get most of my seeds in the Wyevale sale, there's some great reductions, but it does limit you to the varieties which are there.

    Quick sharp, Damo. I hope you've got those leek seeds sown today.

  17. what a perfect reminder of an anniversary!

  18. I wanted to buy something we would remember the anniversary by with the money we were given, Grace. It took a while to think of something but I think the apple tree is perfect.

  19. Good to hear your cherry has done well. I'm just about to pot some up in containers. I'm hoping to transplant them once they get a bit bigger. They're like pencils just now (rescued from a delivery to my son's school). I've planted as many as I can at the allotment.

  20. I'm hoping my cherry does well again this year, Lorna. It's so expensive to buy cherries from the supermarket that it's been a really good buy.


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