GROW­ING YOUR OWN

The Simple Things - - LIVING -

Pears are easy to grow and long liv­ing, and they par­tic­u­larly like a rich soil and a sunny as­pect. Those grow­ing on their own roots can grow into large trees, so you will need to source a pear that has been grafted on to a dwarf­ing root stock such as Quince A (which will re­strict your tree to around 3–4m in height) or Quince C (2.4–3m). Pears on Quince C can be trained into es­paliers or cor­dons for grow­ing against a wall. Yield will al­ways be bet­ter if you have two trees from the same pol­li­na­tion group (this means that they flower at the same time and so can pol­li­nate each other).

Three to try:

Con­fer­ence An old and de­pend­able va­ri­ety and the best for the north or a shadier spot. It is an au­tumn pear that is bril­liant raw or cooked. Avail­able from ot­ter­farm.co.uk.

Wil­liams Bon Chré­tien An early sea­son pear with beau­ti­ful but­tery tex­tured flesh and pale yel­low skin. A dual pur­pose cook­ing and eat­ing pear. Avail­able from vic­to­ri­ana­nurs­ery.co.uk.

Win­ter Nelis Not the most beau­ti­ful of pears but this pear for cook­ing and eat­ing makes up for it with its rich flavour. Will keep well into win­ter. Avail­able from or­angepip­pin­trees.co.uk. »

Good old Con­fer­ence pears are an au­tumn crop to en­joy raw or cooked, sweet or savoury

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