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KG PROBLEM SOLVER

GOT A FRUIT OR VEG PROBLEM? ASK KG FOR HELP

MYSTERY SHRUB

I acquired this shrub last year and planted it on my allotment. This year it has this lovely blossom. Any idea what it is? Keith Jack, via email

Steve Ott, editor Kitchen Garden magazine

STEVE SAYS: Your shrub is a quince (Cydonia oblonga). This is a lovely shrub or small tree; it will give the large flowers now, followed by large round or oval fruit that can be made into quince jelly, jam or fruit leather. It has great autumn colour too. They need very little looking after other than a feed in the spring with a general fertiliser followed by a good mulch with well-rotted manure or garden compost, but do appreciate regular watering during dry spells in the summer. Pruning is done in winter and consists of removing dead, diseased or congested branches to produce an open-headed small tree. Yours is a young plant and might benefit from cutting back some of the longer branches in the winter to leave two or three buds from last season’s growth to encourage a bushier habit, but this is not essential. Alternatively it is also a good shape to train into a fan if you so wished.

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About Kitchen Garden Magazine

Flavours to savour - extend the growing season for raspberries, potatoes & tomatoes. Unearthed - avoid the great allotment sell-off. Save your plots from the developers! Grow your own multivitamens. How to... grow a pot noodle // make an onion drying rack. Delicious summer recipes. PLUS: Your holiday watering worries solved // Lift stir-fries with Pak Choi // Instant savers