Wednesday, 18 March 2020


                                               PLANT FRUIT SHRUBS AND TREES

The dormant season from November to March used to be the time to buy in bare root trees, shrubs and fruit bushes, but today container grown plants have become the norm, so buying in and planting can continue well into spring.
Anna samples early strawberry Mae
However early purchasing is still recommended in case the best and most popular varieties get sold out. In past times we found good gardening advice from television gardeners, gardening magazines, catalogues and visiting nurseries and garden centres, but today we can add on the internet as it is
Apple Discovery
packed with information on everything you can imagine. Yesterday, while erecting a fence around my steep garden I purchased metal brackets to secure fence posts to a stone wall. Mr Google was full of ideas and videos to inform me how to do this task for any size of post. No need to travel around hardware stores, and only a £5 delivery charge.
Do plenty of research to find the best varieties of fruit bushes, trees and other garden plants. Many plants are available locally, but there are plenty plant specialist around UK for all kinds of plants and with internet access mail order purchasing has become normal.
Fig Brown Turkey
Prepare the ground well in advance of planting by digging over and adding tree planting compost or well rotted garden compost. Although recent periods of wet weather has hampered soil cultivations, there has been a few dry days when you got the chance to catch up. Ground for permanent planting of any tree, shrub or rose bush left in the ground for six or more
years should be double dug to help drainage and allow roots to penetrate deep down.
Fruit trees
Cherry Cherokee
Good apple varieties for this area include the early Discovery, mid season Falstaff and Fiesta and late season Red Devil and the most reliable cooker is still Bramley. Apples come in a whole range of sizes and form from low trained stepover, cordons, espaliers, fan trained and standard. Where space is very limited the upright narrow form of Starline Firedance will fit the bill. What form you choose will vary with space available.
Good pears include Beth, Concorde and Beurre Hardy. Comice has great flavour but is a bit
susceptible to scab disease. Pears also come in a range of forms.
The best plum is still Victoria though other varieties are all worth trying, but remember plums can be destroyed easily by silver leaf disease so do no pruning in winter.
A good reliable cherry is Cherokee. In a good year the cherries are so big the blackbirds leave them alone as they prefer smaller ones more easy to swallow.
Gooseberry Invicta
For something a bit more exotic the Brown Turkey fig is very rewarding, crops all summer with fruit from top to bottom as in early years it grows as a large shrub. For an exotic wall trained fruit try grape Brant which does very well in Scotland. The bunches may be smaller than normal grapes and have small pips but the black grapes are sweet and juicy.
Fruit bushes
Grape Brant
Good blackcurrants include those bred in Scotland including Ben Conan and Big Ben with larger and sweeter fruit. Invicta is my best gooseberry and makes a fantastic wine.
Strawberries can fruit all summer from May till October using early varieties, Mae and Christine, mid season Elsanto, Florence and Symphony then the autumn fruiting Flamenco.
Raspberries have been bred for Scottish conditions so there is quite a few to choose from, but you cannot go wrong with Glen Ample, Glen Fyne and Glen Dee and to enjoy fruits into the autumn Polka and Autumn Treasure are hard to beat.

John sowing broad bean seeds
Wee jobs to do this week

Sow Broad Beans now as they like an early start. Aquadulce is still a good variety. Sow individually
in cellular trays at one to each cell and keep in a warm place for germination. Once they emerge and start to grow pot them up and grow on for a few weeks then harden off in early April for planting out mid April.


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