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Planting out currants

Saturday started out with brilliant sunshine but a real chill in the air. A good day to be out on the plot but I was a bit stuck. On Friday I managed to crack a tooth losing the filling but it wasn’t too bad until cold air hit it at which point OUCH. Luckily my dentist managed to fit me in on Saturday lunchtime.

Funny how 10 minutes in the chair makes such a difference, I left the surgery feeling a different man. How on earth did our ancestors manage without modern dentistry?

Looking ahead there’s no rain predicted for a change but it seems the sunnier the day, the colder. The problem is that winter temperatures won’t encourage growth and they don’t encourage me much, either, truth be told.

Sunday – Planting Jostaberry and Redcurrants

Up near to the old pigsty, which is now a shed, I planted out a jostaberry. Jostaberry is a cross between blackcurrant and gooseberry. They’re vigorous plants and produce well. The fruit is like a very large blackcurrant and said to be good for cooking and jamming. If they taste as well as they’re said to, I’ll find room for another couple of bushes which I can start from cuttings.

Next was to plant two new redcurrant bushes, var. Rolan that is said to be reliable and a heavy cropper along with a bush Jonkheer van Tets which is a modern Dutch variety I’ve had in a container for a year.

Now planting these out should have been the work of an hour or so but took nearly three. Once again the curse of the pieces of slate and rocks under the soil. Eventually holes were dug but much muttering in Anglo Saxon was required as well as a pickaxe.

Into the holes a mix 3:1 of Hoof & Horn and Bonemeal to provide a slow release starting stock for the bushes and a sprinkling of Mycorrhizal fungi inoculant. I’m really sold on the benefits of mycorrhizal fungi having seen for myself the benefits on my blackcurrant bushes.

The ground will get a sprinkling of wood ash to add potash before being covered in a weed suppressing mulch of grass cuttings. Lawn mowing time isn’t far off, the grass is just starting again.

In the afternoon we had visitors so a time out and then grandson and parents arrived. Val was planting out her spring pots that brighten the front of the house so little chap had to help. He was happily fetching stones to put in the bottom of pots, although his grasp of size isn’t very good yet. He can’t understand that a pebble is too small whilst a stone he can hardly carry is too large.

Then he picked up a pot and decided to take it to granny but it slipped from his grasp and broke. Poor chap was near to tears. So his mum and dad took him for a walk whilst I cleared up.

The seed potatoes are chitting in the new potting shed in seed trays on the back shelf out of too much direct sunlight. The bench however has been taken over by Val for flowery things. I knew I should have hidden the key.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary

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