Saturday, 4 June 2011

Check out these ripe plums

It comes to something when your sister in law checks out her nectarines and sends you a picture purely because she thinks the photo would fit in with the tone of your greenhouse musings. What kind of blog do you think this is?! And shame on you all for being taken in by the title (unless you actually thought I was growing plums)

Peaches, plums, nectarines. They're a step up from your berries; a step down from your apples. I must admit starting proper fruit trees from scratch are something I'm saving for when I have more permanent roots in Bristol, but after last year's raspberry experiment I thought I'd branch out with black currants  (I swear I didn't mean those puns!).

It's always a danger when you start growing to get a bit carried away. Like going into a supermarket on an empty stomach. Anyone can grow tomatoes but who else is growing whitecurrants huh? Nevermind that you've never seen one let alone eaten one, just think how cutting edge you are.

Garden centres are alive to the scent of an overenthusiastic beginner in particular and my favourite little hideaway Riverside Garden Centre seduced me with all manner of soft fruit  promise. All I could think of was Ribena, and blackcurrant chewits.

As things stand, due to my utter failure to look after my garden in May, my currents have decided to make the most of their situation, concentrating all their energy on producing some juicy looking numbers at the expense of the leaves.

But I seem to be sharing the plant with another critter from the insect world. The ant. Crawling everywhere, I've never had to deal with them before. I don't want to spray my fruit, and don't even know if they are a problem because they just seem to be duckin' and divin' all over the leaves but not touching the fruit. Are ants a threat?

I'll leave on this note. There appears to be paths to follow whether you stick to the classics (strawberries), go soft (currants) or hard (apple). Once you start harvesting your fruit, a world opens up - blackcurrant vodka anyone? And once you get really good, you can even make up your own fruit:

Tayberries grown by Gillian.

Well, that was my first impression. Raspberry on steroids or real fruit?


Carolyn Brown said...

I just disturbed an ants nest this morning whilst preparing some soil for planting. I was so impressed by how they all teamed out to defend themselves that I watched them for about 15 minutes and then decided to plant round them. It's a decision I may well regret, but maybe I'll learn something for next time!

Hanzy said...

my ants don't seem to cause much problem! You could try growing blueberries? I have a plant which is a couple of years old and is just flowering now, a reasonably mature bush (go on, pun away) will cost you around £6 in a garden centre and they DO fruit quite well. You just need to remember they like ericaceous compost so do better in pots anyway.
I have strawberries, blueberries, red gooseberries, rhubarb and apples this year. Next year I want a fruit cage!

Ellie said...

Bring on the fruit vodkas...

Hapless kitchen gardener said...

Caz, you're right ants can hypnotise you if you spend too long watching them. I hope your gardening compassion gets rewarded.

Hanzy, I'm definitely up for blueberries and nearly bought some but thought this year I'd concentrate on the blackcurrants. In time I'll be following you down the fruit cage route particularly if the fruit vodka comes good. I've never heard of red gooseberries though? Have you got pics?

Ellie - I'll name the first bottle after you!

Hapless kitchen gardener said...

PS - more ant news from this blog:

The Poet Herself said...

Ah yes, the seduction of the garden center. It has caused a huge expansion in my container garden experiment this year. :)

The Poet Herself said...
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The Hapless Kitchen Gardener

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I only feel hapless because some people make it look easy to grow 10 ft marrows or a banquet of greens whereas my courgettes got nabbed by killer slugs and I only got one raspberry. So tips and stories from people less hapless than I are more than welcome. As a disclaimer though, none of my comments should be taken as expert advice on which you can rely! © Unless stated otherwise, and with the exception of guest content where that guest retains copyright, all photos and posts are the copyright of Tom Carpen and may not be used without permission.