Your opinions on fruit selection

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cardoon queen

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Your opinions on fruit selection
« on: February 04, 2019, 16:50 »
The community gardens here in Catford, London has been lucky enough to win some cash funding to build an orchard on the edges of the playing fields.  We have london clay but not too bad and lots of trees around and about in peoples gardens full of cherries, apples etc.  We have nearly 1k to spend so I wondered if you'd like to give your thoughts on where to source?  I have been working on it and I think a few half standards as well as maidens would get it off to a good start and obviously mega amounts of tree compost - bulk buy!  I've been looking at Ashridge nurseries for bigger ones and Victoriana down here in Kent for maidens.  Apples- desert and dual maybe with a newton wonder cooker, cherries, plums, pears, maybe an almond and a filbert/kentish cob, quince, couple of crab apples because they look so lovely, sloes for the hedging which we've already started and a grapevine for growing up the appalling council erected bike rack- complete eyesore!  The fields are north to south and last year we baked in the sun.  We have veggie beds now and the children are really enjoying seeing and eating beans, tommies, carrots etc.... it would be great in a shortish time (3/4years?) to have them picking some fruit too.  We have a stables in Bromley so great manure so we're off to a good start!
 
if in doubt, let it grow ...

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AnneB

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Re: Your opinions on fruit selection
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2019, 17:48 »
We ordered some from Ashridge and Blackmoor nurseries for our community orchard.  We have also bought from R.V. Roger.  I can recommend all three companies.  The selection at R. V. Roger is very extensive if you want a particular variety.

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sunshineband

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Re: Your opinions on fruit selection
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2019, 09:00 »
That all sounds a really exciting opportunity!

I noticed you mentioned a sloe hedge, which the birds would certainly thank you for as it would make such a good nesting venue, but had you thought maybe of adding in someGuelder Rose (Viburnus opulus) which is a native suggested by the Woodland trust, readily available. This thrives in clay soil, and provides a great crop of translucent red berries for the birds in the early Autumn

Another possibility, more for human consumption really, is Cherry Plum (Prunus cerasifera) which I know is stocked by Victoriana nurseries. You can get varieties in various shades of red and yellow, and they make excellent jam. Near where my daughter lives these have been planted along  a hedgerow but tbh they are easier to maintain and pick from grown as free standing trees if you have enough apce.

At this time in the year there are plenty of bare root trees available, which are more economic in price. I have bought from Ken Muir anf Pomona in the past with no issues

PS Is your community orchard alongside the allotments  and the little river?
« Last Edit: February 05, 2019, 09:02 by sunshineband »
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cardoon queen

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Re: Your opinions on fruit selection
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2019, 19:19 »
Oh Sunshine Band - it sounds as if you know the area!  Actually if the one you're mentioning is the one you can see from the Bromley train, then that's where I have my personal allotment just near the little stream - I've just planted a mini orchard of my own!!!
but you mention the cherry plum - thank you - I saw that in the Victoriana nursery list and wondered about it.
They've already started a mini hedge around the playing fields which are actually just near the main road from Lewisham to Bromley .. they're full of rose, hornbeam and all sorts but I did wonder about the cherry plums.
If you think they make good jam then I'll certainly recommend those. 
Thanks too to the other contributor for the name of the company called Roger ...I'll certainly look them up.
It's just waiting on Lewisham council to give us the money before a lot of the nurseries run out - we'd like to buy standards rather than tiny maidens which will take at least 5 years to really grow. 
thanks for replies ..

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sunshineband

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Re: Your opinions on fruit selection
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2019, 08:53 »
HI Cardoon Queen. My in-laws live in Browmly and for many year my daughter and her husband lived in Croydon, so yes, I could see the allotment site from the train when we went that way. It does look like  a great position for a plot, and reminds me of our site , which is sandwiched between the Thames watermeadow and the railway line!

You are right not to go for maidens if you have the funds, because they do little to make incomers to the community group feel there is much going on, whereas larger trees look exciting and full of promise to the less-trained eye. Keep us up to date with your progress please. I know lots of members will be keen to=know how you are getting along

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Goosegirl

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Re: Your opinions on fruit selection
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2019, 13:31 »
Greengages are another thought as they make lovely jam!
I work very hard so don't expect me to think as well!

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cardoon queen

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Re: Your opinions on fruit selection
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2019, 23:25 »
Greengages would be good .... still waiting on the council ... grrrr.......

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madcat

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Re: Your opinions on fruit selection
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2019, 09:30 »
Do you know if the money is out of this year's budget?  They are likely to be checking what they have spent/committed and are likely to get out the door before the end of March before they commit to you - then they will either release the funds at the last minute, or ... push it through to next year (assuming they think that they can get cover).  The problem of growing seasons doesn't come into the equation.   :(
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New shoot

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Re: Your opinions on fruit selection
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2019, 12:14 »
If it is too late for bare-root trees by the time you get the money, it is worth asking at local garden centres to see if they will give you a discount, as it is a community project.

Most of the main suppliers have greengage and nut trees in the fruit tree mix they stock and cherry plum in the ornamental trees.  It is worth knowing that almost all plant retailers have a standard mark-up on stock that allows for VAT, but there is no VAT charged to the customer on fruit trees, so they have a bit of extra wriggle room there ( but I never told you that last bit) ;) 



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