'Black Hamburgh' is one of the easiest vines to grow in a cold greenhouse

Growing Fruit Under Glass

Many gardeners that I come across have a greenhouse of some type and generally it seems that it is used for growing plants such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and maybe melons. Indeed, one of my two greenhouses does just that! But there are alternative, fruity uses to consider which, if simple rules are followed, can be very productive. Continue reading

A fan trained cherry growing against a south facing wall

Growing Cherries in the Garden

Not so long ago the thought of growing cherries in the garden or allotment other than as one big tree was simply a fantasy. Likewise, commercial cherry growers were finding life very difficult with their orchards of big trees and many of them gave up. Large swathes of the UK simply stopped growing this wonderful fruit. The major problem was the height of the trees which made picking very difficult and expensive as agricultural wages increased, plus the desire of large populations of birds to consume the crops before they could be picked. Continue reading

Pomona Fruits

Growing Apricots

Despite opinions to the contrary apricots can be grown in the open garden or allotment although in the colder parts of the country they are best grown under glass or a polytunnel. Before I go any further I should warn you that apricots are similar to other stone fruits in that their quality diminishes quite rapidly from the moment that they are picked and as a result they are best eaten direct from the tree although they will store for a few days – however, I can promise you that a freshly picked apricot still warm from the sun tastes absolutely nothing like those that you buy in the shops! In any case remember that apricots are good for you and that is a very real excuse for growing at least one tree! Continue reading

Cordon fruit trees growing in pots

Potting Up & Re-potting Fruit Trees & Soft Fruits

It is quite possible to grow most fruit trees and soft fruit plants in containers; however to do this you do need to carefully prepare in the same way that you would prepare the open ground before planting out. Unfortunately many people acquire a tree or plant and then just shove it in a pot or container without any thought and that usually ends up with the poor thing hardly surviving or perhaps dying. Continue reading

Pomona Fruits

The Benefits of Autumn Planting

Over the years there has been much discussion as to whether it is best to plant fruit trees in the autumn (late November/December) or spring. So much so in fact that the novice and often more experienced gardener becomes totally confused! I have always been an advocate of planting in the autumn and I preach this message wherever I go; most certainly I very rarely plant anything in my garden in the spring unless there are real extenuating circumstances. But why plant in the autumn when there is still so much to do in the garden? Continue reading

Pomona Fruits

Selecting & Preparing the Planting Site

In order to grow fruit well – and this applies to any other garden plants and trees – it is essential to carefully consider where you are going to plant your trees and plants and also undertake careful site preparation before planting. Indeed I believe this element is one of four major cornerstones which act as a foundation for either success or failure (the others being the careful selection of the varieties and kinds of fruit to grow, keeping the plants and trees healthy and an early identification of any pest or disease problems). Continue reading