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Ministry of Agriculture Allotment & Garden Guide

Ministry of Agriculture Allotment and Garden Guide September 1945 page 7

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September 1945

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Ministry of Agriculture
Allotment & Garden Guides Index

January 1945

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The Allotment DVD
The delights of having an allotment. 15 programmes as seen on ITV. Suit new and established growers. Seasonal guide, top gardening tips, fascinating food facts and insights into what's really in those sheds! 

THE ALLOTMENT SERIES was first shown on ITV 1 West

Allotments UK and other related allotment links




   The shortage of fruit during the war has led many people to turn their minds in the direction of growing their own, especially apples. They have grown vegetables successfully, and feel they can grow fruit, too. Why not, if they have got the necessary space for a tree or two and perhaps some bush fruit? So here are a few notes about apple growing.
If the root-stock is vigorous, growth will also be vigorous, you will have to do much pruning and fruit-bearing will be delayed; if, on the other hand, the tree has been propagated on a weaker growing root-stock, such as Type IX, growth will be less strong and the tree will come into bearing at an early age.

Cordon and Bush types of apple trees

   The aim should be to plant the a compact, restricted type of tree that is easy to handle, gives a quick return and takes up very little space. So keep to the cordon type or the bush tree. The cordon has a single straight stem, furnished with fruiting spurs along its entire length. It is the type for planting against a wall or a fence. The bush tree has a stem of about 20 in. before branching takes place, and eight to twelve branches grow in the form of a cup, leaving an open centre. This form should be chosen when planting in the open garden.
   A cordon tree should be at least two or three years old when you buy it, since a tree of this age will already be furnished with fruit buds. A bush tree should be about four years.
   Be careful when you buy fruit trees. Apples are propagated by budding or grafting scions of the selected variety on special root-stocks. It is important that you should know this, for the root-stock has a marked influence on the growth of the tree, and so on the age at which it will start to bear.
   Reputable nurserymen use root-stocks whose habit is known; such root-stocks have been classified accordingly. So if your garden soil is in good heart and fertile, ask the nurseryman to supply apples on Malling Type IX, which is a weak growing stock. If, however, your soil is light and poor, ask for the tree to be on Malling Type II, a stock that produces a tree of medium vigour.
   The choice of variety is also important for any particular variety behaves differently in different localities. For instance, Cox's Orange—possible the most famous English dessert apple—does best in the south and in areas of low rainfall. It is not a good variety for planting in cold or wet districts. People's tastes differ, too. The small gardener would do well to take the advice of his County  Horticultural Superintendent or his local horticultural society about suitable varieties for local conditions. Here is a list of a few well-known varieties that can generally be relied on to do well in most districts, though some may not suit every condition throughout the country.

Dessert Apples
James Grieve
*Ellison's Orange
Allington Pippin
Laxton's Superb

  Cooking Apples
*Rev. W. Wilks
Lord Derby
Lane's Prince Albert
*Crawley Beauth
       The varieties marked with an * are self-fertile, and Crawley Beauty flowers very late, so being specially suited to districts subject to late frosts. If there is room for only one apple tree choose a self-fertile variety. Where two or more varieties are to be grown, select those that flower about the same time. 
Planting operations will be dealt with in a later Guide.

    If you would like more information than can be supplied in this Guide about how to increase fruit production in the garden, you would find the Ministry's bulletin "Fruit from the Garden" very helpful. You can get it for 3d. (4d. post free), either through any bookseller, or direct from H.J. Stationery Office, York House, Kingsway, London, W.C.2.