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The aim of Thesmallholder web site is to assist the novice through to the experienced smallholder or grower in sharing advice and information whatever your interest, be it in growing vegetables, flowers or using smallholder machinery.
It is our aim to set up information on machinery such as tractors, trailers, ploughs, rotovators, quad bikes etc.
Details of the best vegetable crops to grow - asparagus, carrots, beans, cabbage, parsnips, beetroot, onions, courgettes, herbs or potatoes.
Flower growing for either the florist trade or the dried flower arrangers - daffodils, statice, helichrysum.
Details of soft fruit growing - blackcurrants, redcurrants, gooseberries or raspberries.
The live Christmas tree is still as popular as ever with over 7 million sold last year despite the convenience of the modern plastic tree. Most trees grown today are for Christmas trees and not for timber. Varieties have changed to meet public demand and less imported trees are required. Once the most popular variety the Norway Spruce (Picea Abies) has been susperceded by the Nordmann Fir (Abies Nordmanniana) thanks mainly to its needle retention qualities.
Other varieties to consider are the Blue Spruce (Picea pungens Glauca) - an attractive tree with blue-greenish foliage best grown as a potted tree because of its sharp needles. The Noble fir (Abies procera) - again with a blue-greenish colour and good needle retention but needs good soil conditions. White fir (Abies concolor) , Fraser fir (Abies fraseri) , Omorka (Picea omorika) , Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesli) , Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) , Lodge pole pine (pinus contorta) are also worth trying.To grow
The internet is a good source to buy seed from if your regular seed catalogue does not supply them.
Fill a pot with peat-free compost for seedlings and sow seeds on the surface in January / February. Cover with grit that is twice the size of the seedlings. (This allows more air to circulate and protects the seedlings when watering from the top) This recreates the natural conditions as much as possible
Once the seedlings emerge, prick out and transplant into 10 cm (4 inch) pots. Keep potting on as the seedlings grow over the first 12 months. Plant out when it is one year old - but if you want to grow a tree to bring indoors, keep it in a pot.
Small 4 inch / 10 cm seedlings can be purchased if you do not want to grow from seed.
Hazel nuts, cob nuts or filberts are available around October and if you need a wind break why not harvest nuts as well. Store the nuts in a dry place and they will be excellent for Christmas.
Hazel produces male catkins which open up in February the pollen of which fertilises the female flowers (it is a good idea to shake the bush during this time to assist fertilisation).
Apart from using hazel as a wind break it can be coppiced - traditionally cut every 7 to 15 years.
Coppiced hazel can be used for all types of woodland crafts, because it is a supple timber, from wattle fence panels, walking sticks to fishing rods.Propagation
The time to plant is between October and Christmas or layering in autumn is the best way to retain true- to-variety of stock.
The life of Hazel tree is about 60 years but if coppiced then it can survive up to 600 years.
The nuts are important to the survival of the dormouse which eats the nuts as do the grey squirrels.
Corylus Avellana the Latin name for the Hazel tree comes from the Greek Korys meaning helmet referring to the cap covering the nut. Avellana comes from the town in Italy called Avella where the nuts are grown. Hazel is from the Old English Haesel.
Henleys Nursery - Growers of hedging plants and container grown shrubs, forest and ornamental trees,and turf grower.
Very friendly and helpful - Peter.
"I have spoken with Jane and found her admirable. She is direct and very generous with information." June of Kew, London.
Riverhead Farm, Market Weighton, York YO43 4LX.