Our Orchards


Jez Howat's Micro Orchard

I managed to get hold of an allotment earlier 2009, which is 150 long – ideal for splitting between trees and vegetables. Planted during February – April 2009, there are currently 6 trees slowly establishing themselves with 12 feet spacing between them. The soil is pretty good, although there is a band of clay that runs through the plot (thankfully not too thick). As it is on a gentle slope, drainage is not a problem.

As I can get a lot of the more common varieties from a single source, I have chosen to be more ‘obscure’ with my own cider fruit – with one each of Knotted Kernel, Royal Jersey, Hangdown and Skyrmes Kernal. Each of these are old varieties that have fallen from popular use, so this is as much to keep the variety going as to add something a little different to my cider. The other two are a James Grieve and an Ashmeads Kernel and are planted not only to go into cider but also so that the family has a few high quality eaters and cooking apples available.

3 of the trees are on MM106 rootstock, with the others on M26. This should make tree management more straightforward, although none of them will be allowed beyond 9-10 feet in height (as an allotment, it is important not to overshadow the neighbours.

For the end of this year, I plan to plant a further tree – either a Foxwhelp or something a little more straightforward like a Dabinett. This will be done one an espalier at the front of the plot to both see how I get on with it, and to provide some shelter for the more delicate veggies.




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