Posts Tagged ‘planting’

Growing fruit trees in pots.

 

A tree with beautiful red stems

 

Sometimes, you may be short of space for trees on the allotment. This is when need to plant things in pots. When planting fruit trees in pots, try to get dwarf varieties as they will survive best. Plant as you would with any other potted plant, making sure you take care if it is heavy. You should also check that you have a large pot.

Once your tree is planted, it still requires care. Make sure it is kept well watered and fed, and if extremely necessary, repot, taking care as it will be heavy.

Also, cut back the tree in around march if it gets too large.

When planting in pots, make sure they are sheltered as pots are fairly likely to blow over. This could cause injury and damage. As well, you should check the tree has good support – e.g a bamboo cane.

Sunflowers

A sunflower

A fully grown, flowering sunflower.

Although sunflowers are not strictly allotment plants, they can be nice to have planted around an allotment, and will help to attract a large range of creatures such as birds. This is good unless you have a cat or foxes around. There are many varieties of sunflowers, ranging from ones that look like giant marigolds to the normal, text book type. You can also get short sunflowers which are useful for raised beds and small pots.

Sunflowers should be planted outdoors in their flowering position from March to May. I have had success doing this, but it is possible to start plants indoors. This is harder, as they have a tendency to become spindly due to extra warmth. This year, I have planted them in February to experiment. I have started them in a heated propagator.

Make sure that, at all stages throughout their growth, they are protected from pests such as slugs. If they have aphids living on them, try to brush them off. Sunflowers will need support during their life as they grow extremely tall. They should be leant against a fence or tied to canes. They are liable to be damaged in windy weather, click here for an article on what to do if they are.

Sunflowers grow best in sunny positions where they are well watered.

Companion Planting

Companion Planting is when you plant plants together so that they repel pests or diseases. The most common of these is planting carrots with marigolds in order to repel carrot fly. Although more space is used, the efficiency and quality of the crop is increased. Check the seed packets or labels for more information on companion planting.

Growing Basil

Basil is one of the most popular herbs, and is often used for Italian style dishes, such as pasta al forno. It can be grown all year round indoors, which is the way I grow it.

It should be planted in good quality compost on a windowsill, or in a propagator, and the soil kept moist until germination, which normally occurs after 10 to 20 days.

Often, it is over-watered, so make sure that you allow the compost to go slightly dry before watering. As the basil plant grows, move to bigger pots if necessary. In my experience, it is best to plant 5 to 8 plants in a pot, so you end up with a bushy plant, with enough leaves to give you enough seasoning. Make sure you keep the basil in a warm, sunny position, where frost cannot get to it.

In order to ensure that your basil continues growing, you should pick it regularly, so fresh leaves grow. Always try to remove leaves that are damaged or rotting, as they may cause the plant to become diseased.

Have you tried to grow basil? How have you got on? Feel free to share your experiences below