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fruit allotments
 Started by  rachelk
 7 Jul 2009, 9:22 PM

I'm taking on an allotment to grow apples and other fruit any ides tips especially growing almonds and walnuts.
Those all sound a bit slow growing for an allotment Rachel. I suggest that you check with the allotment owner/operator to see if they are happy with trees before you shell out funds.
I'm growing peas, potatos, turnips, carrots and all the other usual stuff in my veg patch. You really need to find an orchard or a small field if you want to grow fruit and nuts. The walnut will probably take about ten years to bear fruit and I think you need to be south of a line across the Uk at about Birmingham I think to be successful with walnuts but do check.
not sure about almonds but they sound even harder to me!
rachelk (Guest)
Thanks the allotments are ok for trees and several locals have walnut trees which crop well. They only charge 15.00 year so I've asked for 2 ajioning plots posibly three.The land appears to be huge and is owned by the church with views across open country only 15mins walk. I'm only 43 and have lived here all my life i'm hoping not to move looking for a long term investment. I've just found a book from the libary on almonds which are the same family as peaches, I thought I would plant it in the middle so that it gets shelter from the apples ect. I recon theres room for three apples an almond a mulberry and a walnut with some rhubarb. I'm also playing with the idea of a country hegde around with cobnuts, cherries, damsons, wild pears, plums, sweet chestnuts, hawthorn, elder and cherries, for jams and chutneys, wine.etc.
GBP-Keith (Guest)
Sounds fantastic Rachel. You could arrange the bigger or more cold tolerant trees in a semicircle on the north end of the plots so that they create a warm glade where the almonds could be planted.
Good luck and please keep us posted.
rachelk (Guest)
Will do thought i might under plant with a woodland grass and wildflower mix that you only cut once a year for low maintenace and to attract biodiversity.
Going to meet the allotment manageger next week so will keep up with proress.
Hi, I have just done the same thing. Allotments in Cornwall though are quite expensive, 100 a year, though I think I have already made that back if the corgettes peas and squashes come to something.
We asked and the owners are happy as long as the trees are kept on the small side by pruning. Also planning a lot of fruit canes and a solar hot water panel heated super insulated greenhouse for winter veg.
I am making the solar collector myself in the old American breadbox tradition then using underfloor heating pipe left over from our renovation inside a super insulated wet earth pit used as the energy store.
Water can be an issue, so I have bought one of those used 1000 litre IBC tanks to save water for next summer, though the amount of rain we have had this week, I'm not sure that is going to be a problem...
Split into thirds, one third trees, one third veg and one third fruit canes in a large poly tunnel.
It is great that people are starting to think about long term projects again, we will have a website dedicated to our failures in horticulture at some point and I will post a link to that when we have something to show.
Good luck!
Can you show us a diagram of your solar collector with the wet earth pit please Peter?
OK, I will sort one out this back of an envelope sketch is a bit low tech to scan!
Some links where I stole the idea from...
Solar mudstore
Though they used heated air for some strange reason, so I changed the concept to use water as the heat transfer medium, for obvious reasons.
I am using the old school breadbox type solar collector, some links to general information here....
Pros and cons with diagrams of various types, (though of course building regs may have something to say about the more basic systems...)
I am using this design for the collector
My refinements include a double glazed glass front, salvaged from a friends demolished conservatory, these fins to increase the effective area of the collector
Better insulation using left over foil material from a roofing project and insualtion stripped from the back of lafarge plasterboard, the pink insulated type.
The pit is to be insultated with 6 inch thick expaned polystyrene insulation board left over from a local build project.
Glazing is to be salvaged double glazing, stripped out of old upvc units that would otherwise be landfill.
Hope that helps a bit.


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