I’ve been having a bit of a tec-detox recently but now it’s that time again – Spring just around the corner bringing with it some blue skies and sunshine we hope. Many plants are getting ready for their growing season so, depending on your regional climate, some trees and shrubs can be planted now – in milder climates you could even be planting out your garlic cloves or onion sets around.
If you have a little backyard space, start your own organic fruit crops this year. How about apples and pears? There are many different varieties available. Do a little research in your area and see which types local growers are having success with – or ask at your local garden centre.
If you are in the UK and prefer to buy online, Thompson & Morgan has this wonderful collection of fruit trees on special offer at the moment saving nearly £20.
Here’s an extract from one of my growing guides – Apples and Pears – I’ll P.S. the details
Choosing your plants
From sweet soft varieties through to large hard cooking apples, the choice is huge. Choose a variety you like to eat! Many hybrid varieties are designed to be trained on a fence or similar structure.
Always check on pollination requirements as you may need to buy more than one tree. Often apple trees are sold as one or two year old plants. Apples will produce fruit from its third year of growth and in the right conditions will produce fruit for decades.
Varieties of pears sold in supermarkets are usually limited to one or two but there are many varieties you could grow at home.
Conference pears are self-pollinating but will produce more fruit if pollinated by another variety. Check on pollination requirements before buying.
Pear trees are usually sold as two or three year old plants. They don’t produce fruit until their fifth year of growth but can go on to produce fruit for sixty years!
Checklist for both apple and pear tree buying:
-Check pollination requirements
-Look at planting and pruning instructions
-Make sure the bark and roots are healthy and undamaged before buying
-Consider the potential size of your tree.
Apples and pears can be bought as ‘cordons’ that stay small but crop well. They are ideal for a small space and can be grown successfully against a south facing wall or fence.
Small bush varieties are suitable for a slightly larger garden and if you have an acre or two, you could always go for the full-sized versions!
P.S. This growing guide will help you get the most from your apple and pear trees.
‘How to Grow Apples & Pears’