TopVeg – growing veg,fruit&herbs

March 12, 2012

Preparing Raspberry Supports

Filed under: fruit — Tags: , — TopVeg @ 10:12 pm

The new raspberry canes have arrived & we are still preparing the supports.



Raspberries become very heavy when they are in full leaf & covered in rain, so the supports have to be firmly fixed in the ground.



They say that there should be one third of the post below ground and two thirds above – so a big hole is necessary!



It is worth spending some time getting the post straight, as it is more likely to stay up if it is straight – & you will be looking at it for many years!



Place some stoney material in the bottom of the hole.



Then firm the stones well down.  It is important to firm down a shallow layer, before covering with another layer, & then firming that down.



An old fashioned thumper is ideal to firm the material around the post.



Cover the stones with the soil that originally came out of the hole.  Thump down each shallow layer.  Try to return all the soil taken out of the hole back into the hole.  That pressed down will keep the post tight.

Preparing the supports for the raspberries is a long, hard job but well worth the effort as it will help the raspberries to grow well for many years.

March 10, 2012

Waiting bed strawberries

Filed under: fruit — Tags: , — TopVeg @ 9:25 pm

Waiting bed strawberries are the ones to buy if you want a really good crop in same year the fruit is planted.  They will be expensive but it is the recognised way of maximising yield.  Also known as the 60-day crop, the waiting bed strawberries will produce fruit 60 days after planting.

RW Walpole in Terrington sell waiting bed strawberries, which they raise in Germany.  Unfortunately these are not available for the average vegetable gardener, only commercial strawberry growers.  But 60 day cold store plants are a good alternative to waiting bed strawberries.

March 6, 2012

Loganberries from Chambers

Filed under: fruit — Tags: — TopVeg @ 9:45 pm

I was so surprised to receive this email from Matt Chambers that I thought I would publish it for all to see (& benefit!):

Have a large supply of Thornless Loganberries for sale these plants are taken from cuttings last fall, grown in a greenhouse thru the winter and ready for outside planting as soon as you are ready to plant.
Do not be alarmed at distance Stark bros has been in the plant shipping business for 196 years.

Matt Chambers
Greenhouse Production Manager
Stark Bros Nurseries & Orchards Co.
p: 573 754 8931

February 15, 2012

Force some Rhubarb

Filed under: fruit — Tags: , — TopVeg @ 10:21 pm

If you have a large clump of rhubarb in the garden, try forcing a part of it using the ‘Wakefield’ method. This involves cutting off   part of the root and taking it into a warm environment. N.B. This part of the root will not be able to be used again after the forcing season.

very time consuming it is essential that the whole of the petiole is removed intact from the root. This necessitates that a finger is inserted between the stick and the bud, and gently pushed to the base of the bud before simultaneously twisting and pulling. Any remnants of the stick base would rot, causing a botrytis problem, so again gently does it.rhubarb-bed-autumn rhubarb-bed-autumn

The forcing process is:

  • After a period of frost, cut a large part of the crown  (the fleshy rhizomes and buds) with a spade, about 12 inches deep, and 12 inches square.
  • Leave this crown lump on the surface of the soil for 8 days to expose it to the light
  • Then  bring it into a dark, warm place (about 60 degrees F) for forcing. lthough
rhubarb-crown rhubarb-crown


rhizomes-&-buds rhizomes-&-buds

Harvest the shoots when they are about 10inches long.

Insert a finger  between the stalk and the bud, and gently push to the base of the bud before simultaneously twisting and pulling. This ensures that the whole stalk is removed.  If part is left it will rot and spoil subsequent growth.

If this sounds rather complicated a simpler way to force rhubarb is to cover the rhubarb clump in the garden, to keep the light out, with straw or a large pot. 

February 6, 2012

Sea Buckthorn Berries

Filed under: fruit — Tags: , , , — TopVeg @ 10:58 pm

Sea Buckthorn berries ( Latin name – Hippophae rhamnoides ) are another super food.



The bright orange edible berries, often called Seaberries, are:

  • rich in vitamin C
  • high in antioxidants
  • known for healing, if rubbed on wounds
  • very bitter


Sea Buckthorn grows on poor soil, in harsh coastal environments and only the female plants carry berries.

Sea Buckthorn berries are popular amongst hunter- gatherers who make drinks and jams from them.

November 7, 2011

Doyenne du Comice Pear

Filed under: fruit — Tags: , — TopVeg @ 8:49 pm

Doyenne du Comice is one of the finest eating pear varieties.  Comice is often grown against a wall in the UK, and the delicious, juicy ripe pear just melts in the mouth.



The Doyenne du Comice pear fruit is

  • large
  • broad
  • an irregular shape
  • yellow in colour, with a greenish tinge and a scattering of red brown spots and blotches
  • very juicy with creamy white flesh
  • aromatic with a tangy, sweet flavour


Gardening Direct will supply Comice Pear Trees.  The Doyenne du Comice is known as the Queen of the Pears. 

November 4, 2011

White Fruit & Veg lower risk of Stroke

Filed under: fruit — Tags: , , , — TopVeg @ 9:42 pm


Consumption of White Fruits and Vegetables Is Associated With Lower Risk of Stroke.


A study by Oude Griep et al, published in the September issue of Stroke, examined the association of fruit and vegetable intake categorized according to the color of the edible portion with 10-year incidence of stroke.  They found that higher intakes of white fruit & veg protect against stroke; while coloured fruit & veg do not. 



Apples and pears are better sources of potassium.  The study found that each 25 gram/day increase in consumption of white fruit and veg was associated with a 9% lower risk of stroke.


November 2, 2011

Cherry Juice Improves Sleep

Filed under: fruit — Tags: , , — TopVeg @ 9:36 pm

Drinking tart cherry juice concentrate significantly improves sleep according to the latest research from Northumbria University

Their sleep research department has found that Montmorency cherry juice improves both the quality and the duration of sleep.  Dr Ellis, a member of the research team,  said: “…. the melatonin contained in tart cherry juice is sufficient to elicit a healthy sleep response.”



Sour cherries are:

  • grown in North America
  • used for cherry pies, jams, and juice
  • too tart to eat raw
  • smaller, more globular & softer fleshed than sweet cherries

The Montmorency cherry is a variety of sour cherry (Prunus cerasus). It was the The Montmorency cherry that was shown in the latest research to have a beneficial effect on sleep.

September 29, 2011

Juicy Mulberries

Filed under: fruit — Tags: — TopVeg @ 8:29 pm

Black Mulberries are so ripe and juicy that they just melt in your mouth.



This is a bumper year for mulberries. 



 The trees are laden and the fruit is of excellent quality.



The tree in this picture was grown from a cutting – the mother tree was in Patrington Rectory. 



So many mulberries are found in Rectories.  The story is that Queen Anne decreed that all rectories should have a mulberry tree – to support the silk trade! 

mulberry leaf, fruit & 5p-piece

mulberry leaf, fruit & 5p-piece

Silk worms feed on the mulberry leaves.

We will certainly be able to feed on the juicy mulberries we have put in the freezer over the winter!

September 28, 2011

Lincolnshire Scad Plum

Filed under: fruit — Tags: — TopVeg @ 7:36 pm

The Lincolnshire Scad Plum may soon be available for sale!

This very late, small, wild plum has almost disappeared. But Paul Davy has sent me the news that young specimens grown from a Lincolnshire site may become available from Autumn 2012.  Stock will inevitably be limited for several seasons.

Please click this link to enquire in Autumn 2011 for an update on the Lincolnshire Scad Plum.

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress