Permanent fruit beds and winter allotments

For the first time, we had a casualty on the allotment. Mr Green was blown over by the wind, and had spent a couple of days face down on a red cabbage. Fortunately the purple kale bent under his weight, rather than snapping, so we can still expect to harvest from it for a few more weeks.

We had a bit of a bicker about the fruit area, which has ended up with us having a fruit cage. Well, we don’t have a fruit cage … yet. We will though. We have four currant bushes and two honeyberry bushes to plant in the permanent fruit area. I wanted to net each bush individually while OH was in favour of building a cage. I don’t like cages for two reasons, no, three reasons.

1. They are ugly.
2. They get damaged easily
3. Birds get trapped in them and panic

Nope, four reasons:

4. They are painful to get into and out of and pick inside.

OH reasoned thus: he has to build whatever system we use; netting is ugly too; birds get trapped in netting that’s pegged even easier than in a cage; netting has to be lifted and replaced to pick fruit.

And that means that he won the debate because he’s right – he has to build it, so whatever he says goes! Although I’m the one who mends cages (we once worked together to line a butterfly world with netting: hand-sewing every inch of a building the size of a small aircraft hanger, in December and January - since then he has not sewn netting!) and there are three holes in our brassica cage that have to be patched before summer. I think a fox chased a rat into the cage – that’s what usually makes tear holes, rather than gnaw holes in plastic netting.

When we’d got over that, and while OH ‘pruned’ the pear tree (which is code for sawing off yet another of its misshapen and hideously crossed branches – we are doing one a year) I lifted the wire mesh off the onions, which are doing extremely well, and had a look around to see what else had been damaged by the wind/rain/frost/snow. Everything looked pretty good, and so it wasn’t until we got ready to lock up that we noticed that one of our shed’s glass roof panels had come adrift from its neighbour. So that’s another job to be tackled next time we’re up at the plot.

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Monday, December 19, 2011

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