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Country Smallholding - - Contents -

Your ques­tions an­swered


I have plans to buy a small­hold­ing, but not yet. In the mean­time, I love grow­ing as much fruit and veg­eta­bles as pos­si­ble. Ide­ally I would love more ap­ples, but the trees take up so much room in my gar­den. Any ideas on what I could do?


Kevin Alviti says: I have two ideas that spring to mind. One would be to get your­self on a list for an al­lot­ment. Some have huge wait­ing lists, so I know that some­times it isn’t an op­tion. I once took on a cou­ple of nearby al­lot­ments and filled them to the brim with fruit and veg. As it was in the next vil­lage, the fruit trees worked re­ally well as they didn’t re­quire day-to-day care and they cropped hap­pily whether I was there or not.

An­other op­tion is to look back at the Vic­to­rian gar­den­ers. I have edged my veg gar­den with ap­ple trees trained as cor­dons. They are all planted 60cm (2ft) apart, so I man­aged to get over 30 in down one side. Although when planted like this they don’t crop as heav­ily as a reg­u­lar tree, they do pro­duce some great fruit and with more than 30 va­ri­eties there is al­ways an ap­ple that ev­ery­one will love. Plant the trees on a 45-de­gree an­gle (graft top­side) spaced how you want them, sup­ported by wires or trel­lis. Prune them back to about three or four leaves in late sum­mer be­fore the ap­ples are ready to al­low light in to ripen the fruit and main­tain the de­sired shape.

If you do not have a small­hold­ing, you could edge your veg­etable gar­den with ap­ple trees trained as cor­dons

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