Potential plot questions

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londongardener

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Potential plot questions
« on: August 19, 2018, 18:20 »
I have been offered a 60 square meter plot.
I am thinking of growing apple trees, gooseberries and a mulberry tree (all fine).
Questions
1) How much work would it be to set this up do you think?
2) What would be the best way to net the gooseberries (you can grow them in pots but you cannot eat them because netting them is very difficult)?
3) Best way to keep the weeds down?
4) How much work day to day?
5) I have all of these apple trees, gooseberries and a mulberry tree in pots, can I just plant them in the ground?  They seem healthy although the trees are not productive.  Or should I buy new ones?
Allotment.jpg
« Last Edit: August 19, 2018, 18:23 by londongardener »

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sunshineband

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Re: Potential plot questions
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2018, 08:45 »
I shall try to answer the questions you ask as briefly as possible or I could be here some time  :lol: but, here goes:

1, 3 &4: A plot that size is relatively small. If you are only going to grow fruit, then covering the ground with permeable membrane and putting a few inches of chipped wood on top makes it very little work on a day to day basis and surpresses weeds totally. Grass is a lot of work and needs to be kept away from the trunks and bushes to give a clear space of around 50cm radius from the trunk, and of course weeds grow amongst it too... looks pretty, but we soon abandoned this idea ourselves. 

2: Gooseberries need a frame over which you can support netting that can be removed once cropping is finished, to allow birds access for eating insect pests. The net needs to be taught otherwise pigeons land on it, squash it down and eat you fruit through the net, and high enough to acommodate new growth to stop this growing through the net (a lot of work to untangle) prior to pruning. Think about the mature height of your bushes when you make the frame... wood, or plastic piping is useful too

5. It is straightforward enough to plant pot-grown trees & bushes at any time in the year, but if the soil is very dry I would wait until the Autumn to give them the best chance. Once leaves have fallen, roots are not trying to deal with the transiration loss of water (from the leaves) at the same time as growing new fine roots. Even small fruit trees need staking. Goosberry bushes usually manage without, unless they are grown as a "standard" shape ie a lollipop.

You might also want to consider how you could net your mulberry tree, as birds adore these fruits

Hope that helps a bit  :D





« Last Edit: August 20, 2018, 08:48 by sunshineband »
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londongardener

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Re: Potential plot questions
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2018, 10:01 »
That is very helpful, can I just buy chipped wood from homebase or similar?

For the fruit cage, is the best thing to just make your own?  I have to say making this is my main concern.  I hate DIY because I am useless at it.  Would it be very expensive?

Do birds eat gooseberry sawfly?  I find that I have to squash them at the moment.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2018, 10:03 by londongardener »

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Goosegirl

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Re: Potential plot questions
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2018, 12:19 »
Chipped wood will be cheaper if you try asking a local tree surgeon, sawmill or similar. Cages for nets can be made from old plastic piping (ask a plumber or builder) and lengths of cheap hosepipe. The nets can be secured by using those plastic ties where you pull the end through a loop, and the lengths of hosepipe to support the net at the top. To make sure the pipe doesn't droop in the middle insert a length of cane.
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londongardener

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Re: Potential plot questions
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2018, 12:24 »
Chipped wood will be cheaper if you try asking a local tree surgeon, sawmill or similar. Cages for nets can be made from old plastic piping (ask a plumber or builder) and lengths of cheap hosepipe. The nets can be secured by using those plastic ties where you pull the end through a loop, and the lengths of hosepipe to support the net at the top. To make sure the pipe doesn't droop in the middle insert a length of cane.

Thank you for that, where can I get the net from?

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mjg000

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Re: Potential plot questions
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2018, 14:13 »
You can buy many different types of net, have a look at a website like Harrods Horticultural which will show you the best size holes for keeping different insects/ birds/ butterflies etc away from your vegetables and fruit.  You can buy different nets and plastic piping online through the large shopping websites.Or google netting, fruit cages and similar wording.

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Mr Dog

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Re: Potential plot questions
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2018, 14:26 »
Gardening Naturally is another good place for netting and, as already suggested, Tree surgeons for woodchip - they will often supply and deliver it for free to save on disposal costs.

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Yorkie

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Re: Potential plot questions
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2018, 16:50 »
The other thing to consider with regard to the trees is the rootstock.

Fruit trees will grow to different maximum sizes, depending on the rootstock that the variety is grafted onto.  For a plot that is 60 sq m, you need to be looking at the smaller/smallest rootstocks really, or you will have problems with all of your fruit competing for light, water and nutrients.

Take advice from a specialist nursery or online to ensure you don't accidentally get something that will grow to 30' high and wide!
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