Thursday, 7 February 2013

Bare root bargains...

On the way to work each day I have to drive past an Aldi supermarket. Although I don't go in there very often I always glance over towards the store entrance because I know in the past that they have sold good value garden equipment and this year I was on the look out for a couple of fruit trees. Well, just as luck would have it, I was going past yesterday and I saw a big box of fruit trees being unloaded from the delivery and I made a mental note to return later.

All day I was wondering which trees I would liek for the allotment. I know that last year they stocked peach, apricot and greengage trees aswell as apple and pear.

I have a perfect spot for the trees which last year was a bit of an overgrown couch grass infested mess. So come 5pm I was straight in to have a look what they have got.

There was so much choice and I almost fainted at the price tag. All bare ruit fruit trees were £3.99 each and they had fruit bushes at 3 for £2.50. So I made my selections and headed for the till point.

My final chocies were:

1 x Conference Pear
1 x Cox Apple
1 x Cherry
6 x Red Gooseberry

I was particularly pleased with the gooseberry bushes. I had been wanting to plant some at the perimiter of the patio to prevent access to the patio from the path for vandals and the like. I had been looking the garden centres last week and they were priced anyway from £6-18 each depending on size. These will do me just nicely..

Like I said earlier, I have a spot marked out for the pear and apple tree. The cherry tree was a bit of an impulse buy and I'm still not sure where that is going to go. I am hoping to turn that weedy patch in to a nice mini orchard come summer. Using a few ideas I have seen in gardening books etc. I am going to dig out as many of the couch grass roots as possible. Plant the trees 1.5 apart and then cover the whole area with compost/well rotted manure and then water well. Following that I will cover the area with non-inked cardboard and then on top of that I will water the cardboard and then add a top dressing of manure. I believe this method is called lasagne gardening and the idea is that it keeps weeds down but improves soil fertility at the same time. We'll wait and see but on paper it does sound like it should work.

The first allotment I had when I was just 14 years old had a massive apple tree in the middle of it and obviously the roots were a slight problem to work around. I don't want to have roots growing all the way through the allotment and I believe these are dwarf root stock anyway. So in order to restrict the roots a bit I am going to copy the idea of a 'fig pit' and put 4 paving slabs in the ground to create a restricted space for the roots to grow in to. The fig pit will stop the roots from spreading underneath the surface close to the ground but will instead force the roots to move downwards before spreading down in a deeper area. Fingers crossed this idea also works, thats what I love about my gardening. Just experimenting to see what works well and what doesn't. It means that your gardening methods are changing all of the time and that of course means it can be very fun!

If you are interested in getting some of these fruit trees then get down there soon because I remember they sold out of the more exciting varieties last time and all that was left was Royal Gala apples.

We are in Paris next week from Monday to Friday so there will be no time for planting these just yet but judging by the care label as long as the roots are kept frost free then the trees can be planted a little later in the season. So I will have something to look forward to when we are back. The shed also needs painting too. The growing season is coming that is for sure...

Thanks for reading as always,



  1. You can't beat Aldi for fruit trees and bushes!!

  2. Love this! May be off to Aldi! Got some bargain fruit trees at Asda of all places, just randomly had Sale trees at the door!!


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