Top Fruit You Can Grow In Your Garden

Top Fruit: There is no exact definition of a top fruit. Included in this group are all of the fruit- bearing woody plants which grow as trees in their natural state, but a few (e.g Quince) are shrubs. Remember that the trees will be with you for many years, so pick the site with care and prepare the soil properly.
Apples are the most popular of all top fruit trees, they are attractive when in bloom and are rewarding at crop time. Most areas of Britain are quite suitable for Apple cultivation, but some people with small gardens are put off by the thought of large standards. Standard trees are not for the average plot. These days you can buy dwarf bushes which will not reach your height in their lifetime, or you can train cordons to clothe a garden fence or wall.
Site and soil: Apples will grow in most situations, but growth and cropping suffer in chalky soils, poorly drained sites and gardens close to the sea. The choice of variety is completely up to you if conditions are fully satisfactory for Apples, but site and soil should govern your selection if there are problems. For northern gardens, shaded sites and land which is more than 5oo ft. above sea level, choose cooking and/or early -ripening dessert varieties.
Planting: October - March is the planting period. Cut back any damaged or broken roots - ensure that the remaining roots are spread out without bending in the plant hole. For bushes and standards firm staking is essential, drive in a short stake before planting. Plant to the old soil mark - the graft must not be buried. Make sure that the soil is kept moist after planting. Do not grass over the soil above the planting hole for at least 2 - 3 years.
Pears are a little more temperamental than Apples. They detest cold easterly winds - young foliage is blackened and torn on exposed sites. Flowers open earlier than Apple blossom, the late spring frosts can be very damaging. Catalogues and large garden centres offer numerous varieties, but choose Conference if you live in the north of Britain. No other Pear is quite as dependable under cold conditions.
Site and soil: Pears dislike shallow soils, chalk around the roots and salt-laden air. They are more sensitive to cold winds and late frosts than Apples, as noted above, but they do have the distinct advantage of thriving in heavier land than is suitable for the more popular rival, the Apple. In general, the site for Pears should be chosen with a little more care than for Apples. Some shelter from cold winds is essential and try to choose the warmest spot in the garden.
Planting: For planting Pears follow the same rules as for the Apple and you will not go far wrong. Remember that Pears are a bit more sensitive and delicate than Apples so choose your site with those points in mind. Happy Gardening.
A large period of my time is spent in my garden, but as I am getting older and things are becoming harder to do. I have decided to make use of a firm called Landscape Gardener London. Up to now they have given me all the help and advice that I have asked for. I still do a bit of pottering around my own garden.

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