Garden expert Paraic Horkan has given some expert advice for gardening this mid-June. This time of year remains one of the best times to plant new fruit trees and bushes in smaller gardens. The soil conditions are just right and the higher growing temperatures ensure strong growth before autumn. Garden fruit is easy to grow and very rewarding.
- Garden fruit is easy to grow this time of year
- Mid June is a great time for planting as the soil conditions are correct
- When planting use rooting powder to strong roots & healthy growth
- For stronger growth, feed your garden fruit plant after planting
Gooseberries are great garden fruits. Paraic recommends the gooseberry invicta for excellent flavour and super disease resistance or the gooseberry black velvet which will give you a sweet red fruit ideal straight from picking or for tasty jams or fillings.
The most popular soft fruit still is the strawberry. They are easy to grow and will fruit as young plants.They are ideal for growing in containers which helps to keep the fruit clean and away from slugs. Paraic reminds us not to over feed strawberries as this encourages foliage at the expense of fruit.
Raspberries, Loganberries and Tay berries can also be grown in limited space and fruit as young plants. Prune carefully after fruiting, to give years of delicious fruit.
Another popular option for garden fruit would be blueberries. This easy to grow shrub will give you an abundance of deep blue fruit which are ideal for pies, jams or eating straight from the bush. This super food is high in antioxidants, fibre and folic acid. Blueberries provides superb autumn colour when the foliage turns from green to scarlet and red.
Paraic’s tips for great blueberries:
You should plant two year old plants with good side branches. Paraic recommends adding Root grow granules to the planting hole or compost to encourage strong roots and healthy new growth. Once your blueberries begin to fruit you should feed every spring with sulphate of potash. This is a lime free fertiliser and encourages fruiting in young and established plants. Blueberries can be grown in larger containers in lime free compost. Remember to feed in summer one liquid plant food every two weeks from June and water throughout the summer.
Apples for the smaller garden:
Coronet has a compact habit and a good fruiting ability. Young trees are guaranteed to fruit in their first growing season. They are ideal for the smallest of gardens and are even suitable for growing in pots. There is a range of varieties to cover a fruiting period from July to November and offering a variety of flavours from sweet to tangy.
Cornet should be planted now and will fruit this summer giving you instant results.Paraic recommends that smaller gardens you should consider growing a coronet family apple tree. This has two different varieties of apple grafted onto the one plant.
Both varieties are selected to cross pollinate one another and will grow quite happily in a large pot or directly into your garden soil.
Rhubarb in the garden:
Rhubarb is a welcome sight in early spring when it is young and full of flavour. You should plant rhubarb early in well-prepared soil with added garden compost or farm yard manure. This will produce excellent red sticks which are ready for picking very early in spring.
Rhubarb should be given a dressing of garden compost mulched around the base of the plant. Paraic recommends that you should feed after planting feed with Sudden Impact fertiliser and water young rhubarb stools for two seasons before pulling any sticks.Lastly you should avoid taking any sticks after July.