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Allotment Gardening

There are many websites available with general information on gardening and vegetable growing  techniques. You will find links to some of those we have found helpful in the USEFUL LINKS section. 

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If you have ever considered planting a fruit tree on your plot, the winter months are the best time  to do this, and essential if you are planting bare root varieties. Many allotment sites allow fruit  trees, and there is often more space than you might have in your home garden. The good soils  that our plots enjoy can also make tree fruit a productive pastime. 

Whilst our site has no specific height restrictions for fruit trees, plot holders are advised to be  considerate to fellow plot holders with regard to causing undue shade on adjacent plots. There  are several simple techniques to help in this.


Dwarf fruit trees are an ideal choice for allotments - this means buying your tree on a Dwarfing Rootstock which restricts the vigour of the tree and will keep it to a reasonable height - for  example Apple Varieties on an M27 rootstock. This also has the advantage of making picking  much easier. Information on varieties and rootstocks can be found on specialist fruit nursery  websites (eg. RV Rogers, Pickering, Ashridge Nurseries). 

A second alternative is to train tree fruit. Whilst this takes a bit more knowledge and expertise,  once you have the shape required, it is simply a case of summer pruning once a year.  Trained fruit trees require a semi vigorous rootstock such as M26 or MM106. Trees can be trained  against the side of a shed or straining wires can be put in place to grow cordons, stepovers, fans  or espaliers. Trained fruit tends to produce better quality fruit as fruit is more able to ripen fully. 

Some fruit trees are self fertile, eg Victoria plums. Others need a different cultivar that flowers at  the same time growing nearby but, as there are already a number of fruit trees on our site,  pollination should not be a problem. Crab apples are particularly useful for pollinating apples as  they produce an abundance of flowers over a long period (and are beneficial for wildlife). 

If you want to visit a garden to see a variety of apples and ways of growing them, both Normanby  and Gunby Hall have different varieties, including open trees, espaliers, oblique cordons and  stepovers. 

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