I’m very excited because my Damson, Shropshire Prune, not only flowered this year, but has it’s first fruits now growing! I did see lots of bees around the blossoms in April but didn’t really expect to get fruit as the tree is only 2-3 years old, and was just planted in this place in the cold of January this year.
Damson jam is my favourite, and it isn’t always easy to buy, so I figured I’ll grow my own damsons and then I’ll always have my own jam. Well, the growing part has started.
I’m also experimenting with a kind of forest garden concept, also imspired by Alys Fowlers’ Edible Garden, and am growing broad beans under the damson tree this year.
As the Damson is young it’s root system isn’t that deep or far. It is a fairly sunny and protected, so rather than just putting perennials underneath the tree, I thought whilst the tree is small, I’d try veg. These broad beans are Masterpiece Green Longpod, I’m trying them for the first time this year. They are growing really well so far, so both tree and beans are working ok to this point. Will be interesting to see how they continue to grow and fruit.
The other little ‘experiment’ I’m trying is NOT pinching out the tips of the broad beans. Every year I diligently pinch out the tips of the broad beans, as this is supposed to stop black fly. So all the garden books and experts say. Well it bloody doesn’t! They still rampage all over my broad beans and I have to fight them with my deadly washing-up liquid squirter. Usually they get half and I get half. Ok, maybe the squirter isn’t that deadly. To add insult to injruy, by pinching out the tips I loose potential beans too. So this year I’m not going to pinch out the tips and see what happens. I suspect I’ll still need my not-so-deadly squirter…