Friday, 14 November 2014

Quick guide to growing Plums, Gages & Damsons.

FIRST CHOOSE YOUR ROOTSTOCK
The rootstock will determine how big your tree grows.
PIXY is a dwarfing stock & is the most popular garden choice. Also suitable for a good 20" pot, trees on this stock grow to about 8' height and width. Heavy cropping.
ST JULIEN A is more of an orchard-tree and also suits grassy area's and paddock. It will grow 12-14' or more and tolerates poorer soil better than Pixy.
POLLINATION
If planting a lone Plum tree make sure you choose a self fertile variety, or plant 2 trees or more of different varieties.
GAGES
generally prefer a warmer aspect than Plums. Give them lots of sun, or they can be grown against a wall.
DAMSONS
Have inherent ardiness and do well in Northern area's. They can also be used in less ideal garden situations - as long as the soil is good. The fruits are quite tart 'though and mainly suited to culinary purposes.
FEEDING
Apply growmore in february, or, if your trees seem to lack vigour, Nitrogen in April.
GOOD SELF FERTILE VARIETIES
Choosing a self fertile bariety takes the trouble out of finding varieties that 'go' together for pollination. You can't go wrong with Victoria, Jubilee, Czar, Marjories Seedling, Violetta. And for Gages, Oullins Golden Gage & Dennistons Superb as well as Stella's Star.
PLUMS & GAGES also grow well as 'column' type trees - ideal if you're really short on space. These elegant pillar-type trees can be accommodated in just 2' of space, spread around a border, or grown in 20" pots on the patio. They are also really easy to prune.
FAN TRAINING PLUMS & GAGES
Utilize a sunny south or west facing wall with one of these delectable fruits. A space 6 x 6' should be the least you would consider and will accomodate one tree. St Julien should be the rootstock chosen, despite being "vigorous" fan training is itself a restrictive growth form and fan-trained trees are better on this rootstock than the dwarfing Pixy which is best reserved for bush trees or columns. Greengages are especially good as fain-trained on a warm wall.

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