Fruit Tree Walk’s orchard meadow
Janice has provided an update on what’s been happening at the Tayport Fruit Tree Walk in September:
The apples in the fruit tree walk are all heritage varieties and vary in flavour, texture, ie crunchiness and juiciness, shape, size and colour. To find out what variety you’ve picked you can check here. Plums didn’t do particularly well this year, nor damsons. Apples are mostly ripe with some trees fruiting well, others not at all, and some lost their fruit before it was properly grown. For tips on how to tell if the apple is ready to pick read our previous update.
The grass next to the native hedge at the bottom of the Scotscraig Drive has been left to grow this year, mainly to help council mowing operations as cutting around the trees was tricky. Leaving the grass uncut also provides a much greater habitat and food for insects and beetles. We are in the process of scything the grass just to prevent some of the undesirable plants from taking hold. We then intend to plant yellow rattle seeds to help establish a more diverse wildflower meadow around the trees.
Yellow rattle is an important species, providing food for lots of insects. It’s yellow flowers produce seed heads which rattle and self seed. It is a semi parasitic plant, feeding off the grass roots, which will eventually weaken the grass making for a less dense swathe, and allowing other wild flowers to make a home there.
Britain has lost 90 percent of its wildflower meadows in the last century so it’s important to allow them to grow wherever possible. It will be exciting to watch what comes up! Have patience, it may take a few years….
If you want to find out about making your own wildflower meadow, have a look at the video from PLANT’s last online workshop.
A small group of volunteers maintains the fruit tree walk, with meetings organised through a WhatsApp group. If you would like to join in, message Ali at the community garden in the first instance (firstname.lastname@example.org), or come along and say hello if you see us.