Pomona Fruits

Apples & Pears: Growing Guide, History & Recipe

Apples and pears are two of the best loved fruits, and they are probably the easiest fruit trees to grow. This has made them a favourite with gardeners along with the fact that only a handful of varieties are available in shops. Gardeners have a much wider range of cultivars to choose from (there are literally hundreds of known varieties) so there is a world of flavours out there to grow and taste. There are also lots of hidden gems with their origins rooted back in our nation’s rich heritage waiting to be discovered. Continue reading

Morello cherry will grow well on a north facing wall.

Fruit Trees & Bushes for Problem Places

Unfortunately many gardeners do not have what they perceive should be ideal growing conditions in their gardens and therefore quite often do not grow anything useful in what might seem to be the most challenging places. This is very unfortunate as almost anywhere in the garden can grow plants well except, perhaps, very dry and very dark places. And from my fruit growing perspective I can advise you that fruit can be grown almost anywhere in your garden other than the two places I have just noted. Continue reading

Cobnut 'Cosford' is one of the sweetest flavoured cobnuts.

Growing Cobnuts & Filberts

Forget all of the nonsense that you hear about the difficulty of growing nuts – whether it be that they are unreliable in cropping, easily frosted or take a long time to reach bearing ability – and try and find space for a tree or two. Probably the only difficulty that you will encounter is beating the squirrels to the nuts but even if they do sneak off with a few there will be plenty left for you! Continue reading

Quince-blossom-0900494

Quince & Medlars: Two Unique Fruits

Quince are one of those fruits which are fairly well known yet not often grown in the garden – possibly because they are not actually fit for eating raw unless your palate is non-existent, as they are extremely bitter and astringent. I contend that quince are well worth growing in the garden but before we go any further I must clear up the difference between the ornamental quince and the quince grown for its fruits. Continue reading

Cordons are ideal where space is limited. They can be planted as vertical cordons or at a 45 degree angle and trained against a wall, fence or on supporting wires.

The Best Cooking Apples to Grow

Most countries have a collection of apple cultivars which they cook or eat as they see fit but the British chose to distinguish between those which adorned the tables of sumptuous dinner parties and those which finished in the kitchen for cooking purposes. This has ensured that we now have a rich vein of cooking apples which can be used for apple tarts, apple pies, baked apples etc., and those to be enjoyed especially for their unique flavour and colour. Continue reading

Embryo figs

How to Grow Figs in the UK

Contrary to popular belief figs will grow very well in this country and have so for hundreds of years. Although they originate from warmer parts of the world such as Persia and Syria (where they were recorded as long ago as 2900 BC) they can be very long lived in this country even if, on occasion, they may be cut back severely by frosts. Continue reading

Pomona Fruits

Summer Pruning Made Easy

If you are growing restricted forms of top fruit trees – cordons, espaliers, fans, pyramids, stepovers or even bushes – you need to undertake your pruning in the summer to help ensure maximum fruitfulness and vigour as well as for keeping your trees in good shape. Additionally, the removal and shortening of shoots and thereby leaves will allow more light to get the fruit which is essential for late ripening varieties. Continue reading

Empathy ‘mini meadow’ seed mix is the ideal way to achieve the perfect habitat for pollinating insects (bees, bugs and butterflies).

Pollination of Fruit Trees

The flowers of the ‘top’ fruit trees that we grow in the UK – apples, pears, cherries, plums, peaches and nectarines – have both male and female parts and for a fruit to be created these female parts must receive pollen from the male parts of another flower – usually from another tree. In the majority of cases this means that you cannot grow a single top fruit tree by itself – unless you happen to have another close by in a neighbour’s garden. Continue reading

Pheromone traps set up in your fruit trees at the end of May through to August will help control maggot damage.

Organic Controls for Fruit Garden Pests

It is interesting to note that the last few years have seen more and more gardeners growing their plants organically and this is being reflected commercially with a considerable number of growers doing likewise. But why is this happening? Is it just a modern fad or are the public generally becoming more concerned about the number of chemicals that are being used in the food they are going to eat? Continue reading

The first flowers will appear 2 to 4 weeks after planting coldstored strawberry plants.

Strawberries in 60 Days

Traditionally new strawberry beds were planted from fresh dug ‘runners’ whether taken from your own plants or purchased as bare root plants in October/November from a specialist nursery. Fresh dug runners are still widely planted but the drawback is that they are only available in October/November when the ground may not be in a particularly fit state for planting. The modern way to establish a new strawberry bed is to plant in the spring/early summer using coldstored (frozen) runners. Coldstored runners are lifted in the winter when fully dormant and held at -1.8 degrees centigrade until required for planting. Once dormancy is broken by planting out in warm soils the plants will grow away very quickly and can produce a good crop within 60 days. Indeed this is how 99% of commercial growers now grow their strawberries. Continue reading

Hawthorn - A fast growing hedge producing masses of scented white flowers in the late spring followed by small bright red berries (haws) in the autumn. The fruits are edible and can be made into jellies, jams and syrups.

Planting an Edible Hedge

Yes I really mean an edible hedge! It’s certainly a much cheaper and more attractive way of creating a boundary than erecting a fence or building a wall and if you don’t have space for a boundary hedge or have an existing hedge which you can’t convert, how about screening a compost bin, shed or vegetable plot? Perhaps the best thing is to consider an edible hedge as an extension to your existing fruit plot thereby extending your range of fruit cultivation to the very limits of your garden. Continue reading