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Digital Subscriptions > Kitchen Garden Magazine > December 2018 > PLANNING AN ORCHARD

PLANNING AN ORCHARD

You might think the word ‘orchard’ implies growing fruit trees on a grand scale. Not necessarily so, says fruit expert David Patch, who advises on the underlying principles whatever the scale

ORCHARD FRUIT

Apple blossom: Orchards can be ornamental as well as productive

Sounds grand, doesn’t it! You probably envisage a rural idyll of rolling pasture, with rows of huge ‘Bramley’s Seedling’ apple trees dripping with fruit. Or perhaps part of a country estate, ancient trees pruned by generations of head gardeners to provide fruit for the house. While these are the grandest forms of orchard, it is perfectly possible to have a very small orchard in a normal garden or allotment – and what’s more, the decision process involved applies to everyone planning to plant top fruit, whether that is three trees or three hundred.

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About Kitchen Garden Magazine

So another year is over on the veg plot – I hope you’ve had a successful and rewarding one. As ever it brought its challenges – the late spring and hot summer certainly made things interesting. My polytunnel crops were the best ever (although one arm is now longer than the other from carrying watering cans) and many of you have told me you’ve had some wonderful soft and tree fruit. That, however, is in the past and we need to prepare for the fun and challenges ahead. With that in mind we have some great features for you this month. Fruit expert David Patch offers his advice on planning a fruit garden, while Ben Vanheems encourages you to leave the spade in the shed and to join the ranks of converts to no-dig gardening. As usual we have features on growing a diverse range of crops and get out and about to meet readers from the North East to the South West. I hope you enjoy seeing the pictures of their wonderful plots as much as I did.