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Easy CareEasy-care plants : Fruit growing

Fruit-growing can be time-consuming but there are ways to keep the effort to a minimum. Fruit trees and bushes need pruning, weed control and picking, and possibly spraying. Often the trees are simply ignored and the results are poor. However, a small number of fruit trees takes up little time and they can be grown for their ornamental value as well as for fruit.

Fruit growing

Fruit growing

Apple, pear and plum trees all have lovely blossom and, sometimes, good autumn colour as well, especially the pear trees. Fruit trees can be grown in a mixed border of trees, shrubs and perennial flowers, or they could even be grown as specimen trees within a lawn area.

Neighbouring gardens usually contain fruit trees that act as pollinators, so there is no need, in this situation, to have more than one or two trees. Most fruit trees are now available on dwarfing rootstocks which keep them from growing too large. These smaller trees are much easier to manage. Choose varieties that are disease-free, such as ‘Discovery(shown), ‘Katja’, 'Lord Lambourne' and ‘Red Devil’.

Fruit trees can also be grown as trained trees on walls, making good use of space and providing wall cover. However, they will require more pruning and training then free-standing trees.

Other fruits like raspberries, blackcurrants and strawberries are a mixed lot. Raspberries are easy to grow but they must be pruned and tied up each year. Strawberries need no work once they are planted. Blackcurrants are slow to pick; the fruit is not versatile in kitchen use, and there is pruning as well. So by making a choice, fruit growing can be made easier.

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