Monday, September 12, 2016

Figgin' 'Eck III

Various circumstances conspire to keep me out of the allotment yesterday, and so far today too. But I've taken the time to prick out those fig seedlings. 2 module trays, each with 40 modules, and seedling growing medium, 50/50 sand and peat-free compost. These were planted in 2 improvised seed trays, (the tin trays that come with a supermarket chicken) with holes I stamped in the bottom. They took ages (6-8 weeks) before beginning to germinate. Back in July, I estimated 40 seedlings.

And then a couple of weeks ago, I counted roughly 100.  And then this morning, I got 85 exactly from just one tray: that's 80 in the modules, 5 in a small plant pot. The other tin tray contains a few less, maybe 40-50, and I've just left them there until I think on what to do with them, (fill another module tray, maybe, but I'm running out of windowsills, and these need to stay at home until I get the allotment shed built and stove installed).

40 Fig Seedlings, Pricked Out this Morning.
Slow to get started, figs, but worth sticking with. That's 100+ plants altogether, even counting for losing a few along the way, to go into the hedgerow, all from one dried fig from Turkey, (although there were a dozen or so seeds in the mix from a Brazilian-Israeli fresh fig, I don't know if they germinated). The reason I'm keen to have figs in the hedgerow is not for their fruit. I like dried figs with coffee, but I'm not fussed on the fresh fruit. Anyway, it's unlikely that a var. grown for the Turkish climate would produce fruit in Glasgow.

Years ago, at the original Pig Sty Avenue, there was a fig growing on our boundary. Been there for years, never produced fruit, no-one could say who planted it or when. But one mild-ish November day, (November!) I noticed its wee stubby flowers were mobbed with pollinators. I can't recall now exactly which insects, except that there were hoverflies. And attracting insects, which also attract birds, is a significant element in the hedgerow's rationale: to sustain a rich and complex food chain which means the chance of pests getting out of control is lessened.

Anyway, figs and gorse in the same hedgerow. How many people have thought of that?