Fruit Trees and Soft Fruit

Fruit Trees

Growing fruit trees is a wonderful way to get an annual crop and add an attractive visual element to your garden that’s also a rich part of any small ecosystem.

You don’t need acres to enjoy fruit trees. Grafted trees mix heavy-fruiting varieties with roots that limit their size. Our standard is the MM106 root stock, so trees you buy from us won’t grow above 10ft to 12ft in height.

Fruit trees will provide the best crops in sunny, sheltered positions. Trees bought with bare roots should be planted in the autumn and winter, those grown in containers can be planted any time the ground is clear of frost. Avoid very dry or very wet conditions when planting.

We also sell dwarf fruit trees that make an attractive addition to a patio when planted in a container. Tender trees grown in pots can also be moved in very harsh weather. You will probably need to feed container-planted trees.

Varieties are very important. Flavour is one variable, but different varieties offer different cropping times, pest resistance and looks too. Self-fertile trees can be grown alone, if your tree isn’t self-fertile you’ll need another (or one nearby) to produce fruit.

Fruit trees are also good candidates for training. It’s attractive, and by spreading your trees across a south-facing wall you can get even better crops.

Stake young trees and keep an eye out for pests. You’ll be in competition with most of the animal, bird and insect population of your garden when it comes to getting to the fruit first.

Among the trees we stock are:

Apple – the classic British fruit tree, available in a huge range of varieties

Cherry – the blossom is as much loved as the fruit. Can be grown in large containers

Pear – choose eating or cooking varieties. Very easy to care for

Plum – reliable and heavy crops. Small trees do very well

Nectarine – can crop well in the UK but may need some help with frost protection and pollination

Peach – work well in containers, from which they should be re-potted every couple of years

Soft fruit bushes are usually perennials that will produce crops for several years.

Each species has its own characteristics, but in general terms soft fruit likes sun and shelter and soil that won’t dry out or waterlog. Alkaline soils tend not to produce the best results.

Netting is a good idea if you don’t want to share your crop with the birds. Always make sure you keep netting over fruit taught, you want to keep birds off not trap them.

Soft fruit bushes are best planted when dormant but before the soil is too cold, so autumn to early winter or late winter to early spring are ideal times. Buying in containers or pots means you can plant at any time, be sure to keep the pots well-watered before you do.

Among the soft fruits we sell, are:

Blackcurrants –pruning to encourage new growth when the plant is dormant will give you bumper crops

Redcurrants – very shade tolerant for a fruit bush

Raspberry – cut back each year to keep cropping

Gooseberry – works well in containers and as a trained plant

Rhubarb – the Yorkshire favourite. Look out for slugs and force for early crops

Blueberry – these acid-loving plants need ericaceous compost