The green and rolling countryside of Worcestershire, England, is home to the cider apple orchards which surround the gardens of Pear Tree Cottage. They enjoy a sunny south westerly aspect with sweeping views across to Martley Hillside, Woodbury and Abberley clock tower. The Teme Valley lies just over the hill and, not far away, is the Herefordshire border. Although our climate is temperate, our seasons are often uncertain and always a challenge to a gardener! This began in 2010 & follows the weekly ups and downs of garden work chronicling both successes and failures but, above all, demonstrates the fun enjoyed by three people who regularly garden in all weathers


6 February 2015

Avocados - in England?

Avocado shoots
2 year old Avocado
Now I know that Monty Don was talking about the fact that he had found an Avocado stone which had germinated on his compost heap over winter BUT, I have to point out that we were way ahead of him! Two years ago, we potted one up that had germinated in the compost heap the previous winter and this is the result.  A couple of weeks ago, Christ found two more and the shoots in the black flower pot bear evidence to the fact.  Any finds like this of course, are very fortunate to survive being sliced by a shovel or spade but it was a lucky day for this particular one!  These finds also say something about our compost heap and the warmth it generates.  Compost is another of Monty's buzz words.  He maintains they need constant attention in the way of turning and mixing in.  We never do that.  We have 2 bays and when one is emptied, the compost from the full bay is then moved into the empty bay and left for a whole year.  This means it is turned just that once in its life was this year's compost?  Perfect of course!

In a previous post, I was banging on about we gardeners having constant battles against vermin, pestilence and disease well, in the case of Avocados it has been Red Spider Mite!  I did say we're always waging war against something!  It seems that there is little that can be used in this battle - little that is, for us amateur gardeners.  I don't suppose for a second that there isn't a whole variety of weaponry available to professional growers as they just couldn't afford to have plants (and livelihoods) decimated by killer insects.  This year I have made a special effort to spray the lemon tree (and adjacent Avocado) with water in an effort to increase the humidity which, we know, Mr Red Spider just hates!  But water!  I ask you!  It's not much of a weapon is it?

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