Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Growing fruit in small gardens [6]

Tips for growing fruit in small gardens
6] Column and cordon trees
Probably the number one weapon in the confined gardeners arsenal should be the use of these invaluable column type fruit trees. The value of vertical accent has never been more pronounced, as these straight-up non spreading trees take up virtually no space at all. They can be set just 2’ apart, spread around a border, grown in 20” pots singly, or set alongside a path or used as a garden divider or fruiting ‘hedge’.
What’s so great about them is that they crop heavily – 30 or more full sized apples for example, on an established tree – and this is actually the easiest of all pruning methods to master.
They can be underplanted with herbs and salads, or smaller flowering annuals. They are grown upright.
Columnar trees these days are available in most fruits. Apples, Pears, Plums, Gages, Damsons and Cherries are all available from specialist fruit nurseries, but not Peaches Apricots and Nectarines.
A cordon fruit tree is very similar but just a little more vigorous. They can be grown supported by a post and wire system, or grown against a wall, either upright or at a 45 degree angle as they traditionally were years ago. These are very productive trees, but you can only grow them as apples or pears.

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