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Posts Tagged ‘Fruit trees’

Johns Red Apple plot

This week is National Gardening Week (11-17 April 2016) it is also the Easter School holidays for many children, why not choose, buy and plant a fruit tree together, they are widely available online or better still visit a garden centre you never know what else you may find, or why not make it a School project; take photographs/draw, monitor and record its progress throughout the year, weigh and compare harvests and create and cook delicious dishes with your fruit.

Fruit Trees

There are many different types of fruit trees that you could choose e.g. Apple, Pear, Plum, Damson, Cherry and many varieties of each type, choosing a tree can be difficult, some of the main things to consider are the height and spread of the tree when it is fully grown, whether it is self-pollinating, if is it not and there are no other fruit trees nearby that will do the job you will have to plant another tree to pollinate it and finally choose a tree that bears fruit that you like to eat, your tree can live up to 60 years.

Fruit trees are either supplied bare root or container grown, bare root plants ideally should be planted October-April but not when the ground is waterlogged or frozen, container grown trees can be planted at any time of the year if the weather is suitable.

Bare Root – Dig a hole wide enough to allow the roots to be spread out evenly and to the same depth at what the tree was previously grown at, it is important that the graft is above ground level. Drive a stake at least 30cm below the bottom of the planting hole, it should be on the side from which the prevailing wind blows. Place your tree in the hole, spread out and sprinkle the roots with Mycorrhizal Funghi (see below), the stem should be about 8cm away from the stake. Half fill the hole with the soil mixed with compost, lightly shake the tree to allow the soil to get between the roots and firm down gently, add the remaining soil/compost up to the original level and firm in again gently with your foot to remove any air pockets, lightly loosen the surface building the soil up slightly around the stem and falling away to create a shallow ring to retain water, water well. Fix a tree tie near the top of the stake, check regularly to make sure that it is not too tight or rubbing the stem, water well in dry conditions until established.

Container grown – Dig a hole 8-10cm wider than the container and deep enough to ensure that the level of the soil ball is approx. 2cm below the surface after planting. Water the tree well before planting, sprinkle Mycorrhizal Funghi (see below) at the bottom of your planting hole, place your tree in the hole fill around the sides with the soil mixed with compost and firm down gently with your foot to remove any air pockets, loosen the surface to create a shallow ring around the tree to retain water, water well. Drive a stake into the ground outside your planting hole on the side from which the prevailing wind blows at an angle of 45 degrees and fix a tree tie to the stake and stem, check regularly to make sure that it is not too tight or rubbing the stem, water well in dry conditions until established.

Mycorrhizal fungi

Mycorrhizal funghi is a natural organism that has been present in the soil for thousands of years it has a symbiotic relationship with plants enabling them to extract nutrients and hold onto water, especially in poor soil conditions, by extending the plants natural root system. One application, when planting, is all that you will need, your plants will benefit from better growth, a healthier and denser root system which will absorb nutrients faster and more efficiently, more flowers and fruit, they will establish faster after planting and will be able to cope with drought better. When planting, Mycorrhizal funghi should be applied directly on the roots or at the bottom of the planting hole so that it comes into contact with the roots.

Once you have planted your tree why not give it a name I have just planted a new fruit tree on my allotment, her name is ‘Victoria Plum’.

Have fun

Gill

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This week 5th February – 12th February it is Bramley Apple Week. We are all being encouraged to cook with this very British Apple. It is recognised by home cooks and professional chefs as the best apple for cooking and the Bramley’s unique qualities make it one of the most versatile ingredients for both sweet and savoury dishes.

The first Bramley tree grew from pips planted in the garden of Mary Ann Brailsford at Southwell, Nottinghamshire, England in 1809 making the variety over 200 years old. In 1900 the tree blew down in a terrible storm, but incredibly it survived and believe it or not this tree continues to bear fruit today.

If you want to pick your own Bramley apples why not invest in a tree for your garden or allotment they are available to buy bare rooted or growing in containers. It is not too late to plant them.

Apple trees can do well anywhere, apart from waterlogged sites or in salty sea air, they prefer rich moist soil with well drained loam. It is best to position your tree somewhere sunny and sheltered this will maximise the time your fruit has to ripen.

Bare root trees can be planted late autumn to early spring but avoid planting if there’s a frost, place roots in moist soil until conditions improve. Make the hole big enough for the tree to be buried up to the old soil mark on the stem, and for the roots to be spread out. Place the tree in the hole and push in a wooden stake, then fill the hole with good potting compost and gently firm down but not tread in. Tie the tree to the stake securely but not too tightly on the stem. Water in well and apply a mulch.

Container grown trees can be planted anytime of the year except when frosty or if the soil is too dry or wet. For container grown trees dig a hole larger and deeper than the container, put fresh compost in the bottom and place the tree (minus container) in the hole, do not break up the soil from the container, then fill the hole with fresh compost to the base of the tree, firm in, stake and tie in. Water in well and apply a mulch.

If you are growing a tree in a container, half fill a large tub with soil-based potting compost and place your tree on top (minus container) fill the tub with more soil to the base of the tree, water well and feed regularly.

In dry weather water your fruit trees regularly until they are established.

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