Mr JibberJabber has been busy at the allotment this weekend ably assisted by Miss JibberJabber. If you want to know what I was up to I was with Master JibberJabber at a five year old's birthday party and not only did I have to do YMCA with him but also the Birdie Song. You can decide for yourself who had the tougher afternoon.
The whole plot is now clear and obviously we're very keen to actually start planting but it's just not ready for any early vegetables to be put in yet. As it is now December and the ground isn't hard yet it's the perfect time to plant some fruit trees. As soon we knew we were getting an allotment we decided that we wanted some fruit trees on it with apple and plum trees at the top of our wish list.
When we looked at some apple trees at garden centres we began to realise just how complicated picking an apple variety was. Many need to be pollinated with another specific variety which is fine if you are going to have several apple trees. However since we have an allotment rather than a potential orchard a single apple tree is all we need. At the moment we haven't met our neighbours or indeed anyone else down our row so we don't know what type of fruit trees anyone else has. With this in mind we opted for a self-fertile variety in the form of Queen Cox. We eat a lot of apples so this seems like a really good variety for our family needs.
For the plum tree we went for a British classic in the Victoria. I do like the fact that it needs very little pruning! In an ideal growing world we should have plums ready from August and then apples ready for eating from October. Before then there should be some blackcurrants from the bushes already on the plot but I think they will be destined for jelly making. We don't know what variety the raspberries are in the corner but I'll have a good guess and say they should be ripe around July. So that leaves a bit of a hunger gap before then...
One thing we all love is rhubarb and it's also the one of the first fruits (OK, technically it's vegetable) that's ready in the year. To make sure we get a full season's crop we've bought Timperley Early which can be ready outdoors from February. When we went to the Clumber Park Rhubarb Weekend in May we got the chance to taste some other varieties so we're going to try Raspberry Red and Champagne as well. At the moment you can buy the dormant crowns and they work so much cheaper than buying grown plants in the spring. Next on our December shopping list is some more raspberry canes and I really want a golden variety plus one which will fruit in the autumn. So much shopping and so little time!
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