Top fruit tree growing advice and information from Real English Fruit

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Crop rotation in fruit growing in the garden

As the volume of fruit grown commercially in the UK is nowhere near enough to satisfy demand, the departure of the UK as a member of the European Union is likely to cause a rise in prices for fruit in the shops. It is therefore very important that fruit trees in the garden are healthy and have a structure such that a good proportion of the fruit can be picked from ground level. This is perfectly possible provided the basic facts of crop rotation are not ignored.

For example we must remember that if an old apple tree is grubbed because it has reached the end of its life, then we certainly can plant another fruit tree on that spot, but not another apple tree. Crop rotation does not only apply to vegetables in the garden. It also applies to fruit trees. In other words, apple after apple or pear after pear is not to be recommended. If this is done all the same, replant disease will probably badly affect the new tree, and the growing and the cropping of the tree will be a disappointment. And yet it is so easily to achieve good growth and cropping of new trees. Just plant a pear or a plum or a cherry at the place where the old apple tree spent its time of life and all will be well. Water the young trees weekly and the trees will have a very good start in life. Particularly if well-rotted farmyard manure or garden compost is applied as an extra tonic.

Old fruit trees in a Suffolk garden

Old fruit trees in a Suffolk garden

Growing fruit in difficult climate and soil

Here are the main rules to follow if climate and soil are difficult:
1) Apples and plums are the hardiest fruit types.
2) Always plant at least 2 of each to ensure good cross fertilization.
3) Do not rely solely on self fertile status. Even those trees do better if they have a suitable cross pollinating mate.
4) Make intelligent use of any type of wind break. Insects and birds, essential to fruit trees, will visit at crucial times.
5) Give the trees a chance. Don’t choke the roots under a carpet of grass and perennial weeds.
6) The trunk of the tree is the main transport channel for the supply and delivery of water and food to each part of the tree. Protect the trunk from damage caused by cattle, deer, rabbits, mice etc.