For the most up to date news on fruit that we grow and nursery goings on have a look at our Facebook page. More brief articles & photos will be on this page. If you then 'like' us you will be notified each time a fresh bit of news in added.
Winter is upon us ......
.......and we have just 'undercut' the fruit trees. Undercutting with a U shaped blade makes lifting the trees over the winter easier and ensures a good root system, resulting in good establishment after planting.
The blade is attached to a steerable frame, the rows are not 100% straight! which is drawn in by a tractor mounted winch. Quite basic but very effective!
Photo shows undercutting plums, most of which have lost their leaves. We will be contacting early customers very shortly to arrange delivery. 19.11.16
Now is when a lot of fruit, in particular apples, are ripening.
With this in mind we have assembled a collection of top fruit on the nursery from trees on the site and from local orchards of trees that we sell. You are most welcome to view and taste many. We are open 9-5pm Monday - Friday & 10-1pm Saturdays (not Sat 8 October when we will be at the 'Big Apple' near Ledbury). Happy to discuss fruit growing generally and your requirements. 23.09.16
Late summer is when espaliers & cordons are pruned.
Current seasons growth is ideally pruned in August. Prune growth immediately off the cordons main stem back to 3 buds and to one bud growth arising from previous years shoots.
Treat each tier of an espalier as a cordon and prune similarly. For more information see the puning advice page. 20.08.16
We are underway dispatching early orders.
Our new building is coming into its own as a collection area for lifted trees and as a packing area. We have been trying to deliver and arrange collections of trees whose leaves have largely fallen - Plums, Cherries & Pears. Leaving apples and quinces until now.
Now the colder weather is having its effect we are into dispatching all trees now. So if you have ordered and have not heard from us we hope to be in touch soon.
We are still waiting for the fruit bushes and raspberry canes to be ready so have been holding back on deliveries of trees where these have been included. The warm autumn and early winter has had a delaying effect. However there is still plenty of winter to come I am sure!
So apologies if we contact you a little later than anticipated. We are working as quickly as we can so be assured we will be in contact. 28.11.15
WE HAVE MOVED! Not far though. Only about 50m!
Whether you move 50m or 50 miles its still a major upheavel.
A few months ago this now excellent Dutch barn, that has been equipped for the Nurseries use was just a frame with some old sheets hanging onto it!
What Mike has built with the assistance of one main contractor is tremendous. Those of you who visit us to collect trees in the near future will no doubt see a few rough edges as we get used to the new build.
I took some photos of the inside having just been floor painted overnight. We will never see the building like this again!
It's like when moving into an empty house! 7.11.15
Over the next month we will be at a few local events....
Over the weekend Sat 26 & Sun 27 September we will be at the Malvern Autumn Show at the Three Counties Agricultural Showground at the base of the Malvern Hills. Always an excellent event with a harvest feel to it, it is well worth a day out if not too far away. We are stand 2033 and will along Row 2 opposite the Avon & Wye Halls. Please come and visit us!
Other events we will be at over the coming weeks are the apple day at the National Trust's Hanbury Hall, near Droitwich on Sunday October 4th. The last time we attended this event a few years ago you could collect a carrier bag of apples from the nearby orchard for a very low price. On Friday 16 October we will be at another National Trust property at Snowshill Manor, high up on the Cotswold edge near Broadway.
Over the next couple of months will will be maintaining a wide collection of apples and some pears at the nursery of what we grow with some for tasting. We are always available on site weekdays at present and Saturday mornings aswell from November onwards. 12.09.15
No summer holidays for us, this is the time we do budding.
Budding is a summer form of grafting. By attaching a small piece, a bud, of a variety ie Discovery, Fortune, Victoria onto each rootstock, sealing to enable callousing & protection from the weather we can start the process of growing all the varieties we now do.
Of course nothing goes exactly to plan. There are losses. Not all callous, not all grow away or grow well. But no budding no Nursery crop!!
We grow trees on a variety of different rootstocks - four apple, three plum, two cherry - we are trying a vigorous cherry rootstock for the first time & three pear. The main difference between rootstocks is the vigour they impart so fruit trees can be grown in all situations from the smallest of plots to extesive traditional orchards.
We have become Royal Warrant holders...
Earlier in the year we were fortunate to become Royal warrant holders to HRH The Prince of Wales as a supplier of organic Fruit trees. There are some 800 companies which hold Royal Warrants of Appointment to The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh & The Prince of Wales.
In February we attended a new warrant holders meeting and then in June one of us had the chance to join just over 200 warrant holders at a reception to mark 175 years of the Royal Warrant Holders Association hosted by HRH The Prince of Wales. So on a hot day on 11 June I had a day off from Nursery work, travelled to London and joined other warrant holders from all walks of life at St James's Palace, which adjoins Clarence House. Quite different to my usual routine, something quite special and an event to be remembered.
If you would like to know more about the Royal Warrant Holders Association have a look at their website. We have a page in its directory.
Come & visit.....
If you are in the area you are most welcome to visit. See (and taste) a wide selection of mostly apples displayed at the nursery. Walk amongst trees in our small orchard, many of which have fruit on. This year fruiting has not been as heavy and ripening has certainly been much earlier, but we will try to maintain a display as long as possible. By viewing our orchard which contains around 50 different varieties of different ages and rootstocks you will see the sizes they will reach in a few years, spacing required and learn from the mistakes we have made! 06.10.14
Many of the pear varieties we grow are now ripening. It is important not to let them become soft on the outside otherwise they will be soft, mealy & unpalatable on the inside. Pick them when hard and allow to ripen inside.
A useful guide when to pick is to press the pear skin close to the stalk. If the flesh depresses a little and rebounds then pick! Once inside you can place with some bananas to speed the ripening up.
Picture shows Pear Onward, just picked, cut across and soft enough to eat - delicious! A large dumpy pear with a flattish base, the brownish skin can become somewhat golden on the sunny side. Beneath the skin the flesh is creamy white, juicy and of lovely pear flavour. 20.09.14
Nursery Walk on Wednesday 24 September
Together with the Soil Association we will be hosting a Nursery Walk on Wednesday 24 September from 4.30 -7.30pm. If you would like to see how we grow the trees from the very beginning to the final complete trees, walk around a demonstration orchard and see a range of mainly apples ripening up then you are most welcome. You do not need to be Soil Association members. Refreshments provided. Click here to book or contact us directly.
Of course you are most welcome at other times. We are happy to discuss your requirements and plans. Shortly we will be assembling a selection of apples for viewing and some for tasting at the nursery. At present we are open 9-5pm weekdays. From October we will be open Saturday mornings aswell - 10-1pm. 30.08.14
Cutting & harvesting rootstocks
We are underway cutting our stoolbeds. They are apples MM106 - moderate vigour, M26 - semi dwarfing, M9 - dwarfing & M25 - vigorous. They are graded according to thickness and the stoutest best rooted stocks are planted out to produce complete trees in a couple of years.
We putting some stout well rooted rootstocks aside for sale. Small quantities. Ideal for anyone who wishes to do some home grafting. If planting out before grafting then a little thinner stock would be best.
The prices are £1.50 ea + VAT. Carriage at cost - starting from £9 (inc VAT) for small parcels. Otherwise we can include with your tree order. If there any enough rootstocks available we will produce a dedicated website page. In the meantime if you are interested in some apple rootstocks, we will also have some plum (St Julien A) rootstocks, please contact us 01905 841 587 or email. 19.01.14