Clearing and shifting.

The tomatoes and peppers have all done well in Air-Pot containers but are now nearly all finished. Maskotka is an early ripening sprawling type of cherry tomato which looked good on the patio as well as providing good eating.

The yellow piripiri was the most productive of the chilli varieties, it is an accidental cross between a red piripiri and some unknown father.

A batch of hot sauce made from a mix of peppers and chillies has just gone into bottles and is tasting good. This sauce is a Sriracha style, which means it was fermented with lots of garlic, and the heat is down to family friendly levels; a warming condiment for the winter ahead.

Raspberry plants do not generally grow well in pots long term, but some Autumn fruiting canes which are temporarily in an Air-Pot container have provided quite a few bonus berries. It might even be possible to keep them fruiting for longer by moving into the greenhouse. Now the tomatoes are cleared out there are a few things which might extend their cropping season by coming under cover.

Colder weather is threatening some of the more tender plants such as the lemon grass, which was grown from seed this year. It has formed a good clump in an Air-Pot and is big enough to provide some leaves for flavouring curries. To get the tender inner stems which are the most flavoursome it needs to continue growing into next year. So the pot will be moved into frost-free quarters for the winter.

A pot full of Garlic Chives is dividing and flowering well after being rescued from an overgrown veg patch. Most alliums seem to thrive in the free draining conditions provided by an Air-Pot. Garlic Chives can actually bulk up to the size of baby leeks when they are happy, so potentially they can be more than just a garnish, and be used in stir-fries or as a filling for dumplings.

5 thoughts on “Clearing and shifting.

  1. Love reading about your skill and success using Air-pots. I’ve used Air-pots in the past but unfortunately with a poor success rate due to my getting the compost mix wrong which resulted in poor growth and water retention so would appreciate any guidance you may have on suitable compost recipe mixes for fruit trees in 38L pots and greenhouse tomatoes in 20L pots

    Kindest regards
    Andrew

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  2. Hello Andrew
    Generally if people experience problems with water retention in an Air-Pot container it is due to the compost being too loose in the pot rather than the wrong type of compost. A proportion of John Innes soil based compost or just sterilised top-soil mixed with a general purpose compost can be helpful by adding weight and slow release nutrients to the rootball especially for long-lived tall fruit trees. But most important is taking care to work the compost down into the base and sideways into the cones, then tamping down and ensuring the final soil level is near the top of the pot well above the highest holes, possibly dishing the surface slightly so that water soaks down rather than sneaking out a hole. If a tree has been in a pot for a long time it is worth pressing old compost down hard all around the edge to fill voids where compost has subsided and top dressing with fresh soil together with blood, fish and bone or slow release fertiliser, I find tomatoes very unfussy so usually just use homemade garden compost mixed with some sieved garden soil and maybe some wood ashes, again take care to firmly fill the pots and make sure the rows of solid cones are at the top. If the pot has become very dry the soil may have shrunk a bit making re-wetting difficult, dunking for a long soak will re-hydrate but of course this is not easy with big 38 litre containers. Another option for containers which are prone to drying is to drape a wick or two made from capillary out through holes in the base and in contact with compost, then a puddle of water in a saucer or tray can be drawn from below.

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    • Hi I’m thinking of growing fruit trees (Apple, plum, pear and cherries) in AirPots and wonder if you have any advice and experience in growing these fruits Kind regards 

      Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPad

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      • Hello Andrew
        I have several fruit trees in Air-Pot containers, the largest of these are now in the Extra Large 38 litre size. Not much of a useful crop yet though but I was not really expecting masses of olives or yuzu (a rare citrus) in Scotland, I am just growing them out of curiosity. More common fruits such as apples and cherries should fruit well in large pots if they are a fairly dwarf variety, I bought two types of cherry last winter with hardly any root, which is often how fruit trees are sold at this time of year, and I potted them into medium sized Air-Pot containers with a loamy compost and a sprinkling of blood, fish and bone. Both cherries put on good growth and I can see lots of new roots have been produced, now they are recovered from their uprooting and transplanting and they have established an active root system they are ready for extra large pots which will be their permanent home. There is no need to gradually work up through a succession of slightly larger pots, the roots produced in Air-Pot containers do not get pot-bound against the side wall as they do in conventional pots so big jumps in size
        are fine. Likewise an apple I grew from a pip is ready for its “big boy pants”, really a known apple variety grafted onto a dwarfing rootstock would be better but this pip was actually sprouting inside an apple I was eating several years ago so I felt it deserved a chance, who knows it might be a winner.

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