Stephanie's Kitchen Garden Diary - January 2006

Stephanie's Kitchen Garden Diary - 31st January 2006

Kitchen Garden  Update  -January 2006  

A Year of Sensational Progress!  

The arrival of the Yuletide Season and the New Year brings fruit trees, a potting shed and a long list of jobs!  

The Christmas and New Year period is a time when the country traditionally shuts down for 2 weeks, but there is no such luxury in the Kitchen Garden. Actually, that’s not entirely true as we did have time to enjoy the festive break, but there were also a few jobs to complete first.   Our good friends at Reads Nurseries informed us that our fruit trees, bushes and canes were ready for collection in the weeks leading up to Christmas, so we wasted no time in transporting them back to the garden where they were all temporarily heeled in prior to planting in the fruit cage and various beds.  January064    

The plants earmarked for the fruit cage were 4 blackcurrant bushes (2 each of Ben Sarek and Ben Tirran), 40 raspberry canes (20 Malling Jewel, 10 Malling Promise and 10 of the Autumn fruiting variety, strangely named Autumn Bliss) and 4 blueberry plants in pots (2 x Goldtraube and 2 of Bluecrop). The blueberries will remain in the pots as they are ericaceous plants – they absolutely love acid soil – and providing these conditions would not please the other fruit cage inhabitants.  

All the above plants were safely ensconced in the fruit cage; the raspberries are in rows of 5 plants and will eventually have stakes at each end of the row forming part of a support system with the versatile gripple system, and the blackcurrants were planted slightly deeper than the nursery soil mark – this is to encourage new shoots to emerge.  Jan062        

The fruit trees have also been planted, but not in the fruit cage. The apple varieties have been introduced to the perimeters of beds 1, 2, 5 and 6 to create classic garden shapes in the form of espaliers. Again, a framework to carefully train these trees into the correct shape will be added in the future but at present the trees are supported by a combination of stake and new velcro tree tie.  

The other fruit trees are a selection of cherries, pears, plums, nectarine and fig. The latter are to elegantly occupy the 3 circles in the garden pathways (2 nectarines and the fig), whilst the 2 cherries have been placed on the north facing back fence. Plums are sitting happily at the greenhouse end of beds 1 and 6 and the pears are to provide the Kitchen Garden Crowning Glory – 4 trees on either side of the pathway between beds 2 and 3 which will be trained over 4 ornamental arches, creating a wonderful sight and sensory feature.  January062

So - we now have a fully occupied fruit cage and although the trees are not exactly imposing at present, they will eventually be major focal points in the Kitchen Garden. We have also seen the delivery and installation of the new potting shed – full details in our next update – and are in the process of preparing a planting plan for 2006 based on our range of organic live vegetable plants and seeds. Finally, just view the images which form part of this update and compare with those taken in January last year to see the progress the garden has made – here’s to 2006!