How do you like them ap­ples?

Here we are in the Gar­den of Eng­land – and you don’t have an ap­ple tree? Au­tumn is the very best time to get on and plant one.

Kentish Express Ashford & District - East Kent Property - - OUTDOORS -

“Dig a wide hole no more Plant a lit­tle ap­ple tree this au­tumn and it has the win­ter for its roots to es­tab­lish be­fore next year’s dry weather.

Gar­den­ers’ World pre­sen­ter Monty Don has around 60 dif­fer­ent types of ap­ple tree at his gar­den in Here­ford­shire.

In his lat­est book, Down To Earth, he says ap­ple trees are over­looked as trou­ble­some by many peo­ple. He feels that this is un­fair.

“They some­how feel it has to be a big tree, but it doesn’t. You can grow stepovers or es­paliers, you can grow fans or cor­dons. You can train the fruit to fit your space,” he said.

“Peo­ple also get very wor­ried about what are ac­tu­ally quite triv­ial af­flic­tions. It could be a bit of mould on a leaf or a bit of bit­ter pit on the ap­ple, but by and large ap­ple trees are ro­bust. They don’t need much look­ing af­ter.”

Some peo­ple are also con­fused by root­stocks, he ob­serves: “It’s mod­er­ately com­plex be­cause all ap­ples are grown on a dif­fer­ent root­stock, so the roots of one tree are joined at the graft to the trunk and branches of an­other tree. The root dic­tates the size and vigour and shape of the tree, and the bit above the root dic­tates the fruit.

“So you could have my favourite eat­ing ap­ple, Jupiter, as a dwarf, a cor­don or a great big tree, but you’d need a dif­fer­ent root­stock for each of them. All you need to know is, I want it to be this big, my gar­den is this size, what root­stock do you have? And a good gar­den cen­tre should be able to tell you.” Down To Earth by Monty Don is pub­lished by DK, priced £17.99. Avail­able now.

It is time to plant ap­ple trees

Pic­ture: Han­nah Stephen­son/PA

Pic­ture: Lu­bera/PA

Plant now and trees have the win­ter to es­tab­lish

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