It’s been a long cold winter, but finally spring appears to be on the horizon!
We purchased some fruit trees to add to our collection 2 weeks ago. We have an apple tree, a ‘herefordshire russet’ on an M9 root stock, apparently this should only grown to about 2.5m tall, we bought this at our local garden centre, it appear to be 2-3 years old, but was on offer at £10! We have popped it in a nice sized pot with the intention of trying to train it. We were originally looking at trying to espalier it, but that would require some very drastic pruning, so I think we may be a little more restrained and just try to maintain a nice shape as a smaller standard tree.
Another addition to the family was a plum tree, for this we went for a ‘victoria’ as we love the flavour. This came from another local garden centre, which is also an orchard, it was bare root but appeared to be healthy looking, a bargain at £15! This is again in a pot, as it should be easy to train and is only 1.5m high at the minute, we have some time to decide what shape to make it.
We took the opportunity to add another raspberry cane to our collection, as last years canes didn’t seem to send up many runners to be this years canes, it is a different variety, but this should just mean that we have fruit over a slightly longer period.
In addition to these we picked up two blueberry bushes, both about 18months old and a bare root redcurrant bush. These are all in pots and have already started to break bud!
The remainder of our fruit is now playing catchup, the loganberry, blackcurrant, gooseberry and kiwi are all racing to put buds out and open them up ready for when the bees arrive to start pollinating.
We discovered whilst researching apples that as apples are not self fertile you need at least one apple tree from a compatible group to pollinate your tree, however it turns out that crab apple can also pollinate a standard apple tree, this is quite helpful in an urban environment as crab apple trees are often planted in an ornamental capacity.
The lemon tree seems to like it’s new house, the warmth overnight seems to be helping it to hang on to it’s fruit, maybe we might even get to eat some this year….
The onions and garlic that we planted at the back end of last year are looking good, we had to take the seed sown onions out to plant the broad beans, but will be trying those again next year under a cloche to give then a head start.
The rhubarb appears to be much happier this year, hopefully having not taken many stems from it last year will have boosted the crown.