Apricots, Nectarines, Peaches & Plums
It is so rewarding to grow your own fruit.
Whether eating fresh from the tree or baking delicious treats, stone fruit are irresistable.
Winter is the optimum time to plant your stone fruit trees as they are dormant during winter.
There are numerous varieties to choose from and many new and exciting crosses like the Peachcot which is a cross between a peach and apricot. With the demand for small growing stone fruit, many dwarf varieties have been bred which are perfect when space is limited. Many dual grafted varieties are also available meaning you get two different fruit varieties on the one tree.
Where to plant
Fruit trees are best planted in an open sunny area protected from strong winds.
Fruit trees can be traditionally planted in an orchard, or anywhere in your garden. For the small garden either espalier your fruit trees, or plant dwarf varieties. Espalier is a form of training a tree to grow along a fence, which keeps the tree small but does not compromise fruit production.
How to plant
When planting, dig a hole that is big enough for all the roots, but make sure the graft is above the ground. Put a large handful of sheep pellets in the hole as you plant your fruit tree. For trees out in your garden it would also be best to stake the tree at the time of planting. Firm the soil around the tree with your feet and water in well.
Stone fruit should be pruned in summer into a vase shape by cutting out the central leader as shown in the diagram below. This allows light into the tree which enhances fruit production. After this, maintenance pruning in Summer is all that is required to keep the vase shape. Just prune out branches crossing over each other.
Preventing pests and diseases from attacking your fruit trees is always better than trying to cure them. Follow our spray guide below for pest and disease prevention.
Stone fruit come ripe during the summer months. Early varieties ripen in December while the late varieties become ripe in February and March. Harvest when ripe, or before the birds get them!