By Ronniebofa

Allotment willow hedge maintenance

My brother Jimmy and I had busy afternoon in the allotments today. Jimmy tidied the strawberry bed and removing runners whilst I started on the willow hedge we planted four years ago to protect the allotments from erosion caused by uncontrolled flooding of the river. As last year, it had grown over 20 foot in height this year. I did some pruning to promote bushier growth and bent down and tied in the leading branches. Jimmy assisted in the pruning and harvested some larger branches that we will use as “canes” for runner beans and sweet peas next year after they dry out over the winter.
The severe frost last night has ended any further growth of our grape vines and put paid to the last of annual bedding flowers (Cosmos and Scotch Marigolds) but our green manure is surviving, suppressing weed growth and locking up nutrients for next session. Amazingly the Joan J autumn raspberries are still producing beautiful tasty fruit. These rasps were only planted in the spring and I can truly recommend Ashridge Nurseries who supplied them and the maiden apples that I planted in the spring; all of which produced fruit - John Don eat your hat (he said we wouldn’t live to see them fruit when we planted them!!)

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