Consolation Prizes – 26th June 2015
I wrote last time that I have stopped growing vegetables in my garden and only grow them on my allotment. This might have sounded very negative to those of you who don’t have any choice. But there is a huge consolation prize if you are having problems growing vegetables because of slugs and snails in your garden – fruit is much easier and extremely rewarding.
I found in the past that a large percentage of the vegetables in my garden were eaten by these pests. This was particularly bad in damp summers. My garden is full of flowers and this gives lots of cover for them to hide in. There are also plenty of local cats which means fewer birds around to eat the pests. My allotment is much more open than my garden and problems caused by these pests are far less. So my garden is full of fruit, almost all of which shrug off slugs and snails. The only fruits which are really susceptible to them are strawberries.
The other great advantages of fruits in the garden are that they blend in easily with ornamental plants and that some of them will even produce decent crops in the shade. Gooseberries, red currants, morello cherries and raspberries will usually crop well in partial shade. Other fruits will do well trained on walls or used as hedges. A sunny wall can provide large crops of figs every year. Apples and pears are available in a huge range of sizes from tiny step-over plants, through medium sized plants ideal for a small garden, to large trees to give fruit and shade. They make excellent cordons and espaliers for small spaces and boundaries. Blackcurrants will produce large crops given sunshine and a good feed each year and plums will grow almost anywhere. Vines can be excellent but need some looking after to give good crops of useful fruit. There are fruit trees and bushes for almost any situation and they will usually produce large, delicious and very healthy crops without much real effort. They more than make up for the disappointment of finding slugs destroying your vegetables.
One last thing – if you grow fruit trees (and for the rest of your garden shrubs and trees) it is well worth buying the cheap and clear RHS Pruning book – PRUNING by Christopher Brickell.
If any of you would like to pay a visit to my allotment on Claremont Rd please get in touch so that we can arrange a time. You can contact me here.
” ANYONE WHO BELIEVES IN INDEFINITE GROWTH ON A PHYSICALLY FINITE PLANET IS EITHER MAD OR AN ECONOMIST” – David Attenborough.