I am hoping to start building a fruit tree guild with a local school. In order to do so we will need to make some decisions.
When choosing the apple tree size is our first decision and with a large space we can choose any size. With smaller space you can pick out dwarf rootstock or maybe even training your trees. Next is flavour and also whether you are growing eating or cooking apples. And finally pollination, apple trees on the whole will need pollinating from two or more cultivators.
In this respect I think we will buy a Discovery Apple tree. Discovery is best known because it produces some of the earliest apples in the UK. The cropping time is mid to late August and lasts for about a month into September. It produces fruit in an attractive red colour. To go alongside this we will plant a Granny Smith with large, green fruits with a crisp, firm flesh. I think these two trees will contrast well. We will need to get a move on as the best time to plant apple trees is between Autumn and early Spring while the trees are still dormant.
Garlic is best planted in autumn and is planted in cloves rather than seeds. It generally needs a cold spell to produce good bulbs. It produces a harvest in late spring/early summer. It needs no cosseting so is a perfect plant for low maintenance gardening.
In the meantime we could plant onions. Onions are usually grown from small bulbs called sets, planted outdoors in autumn or spring. These grow quickly and reliably, with minimal maintenance.
We need to be thinking about sowing Calendula seeds around April time. They will need to be kept warm whilst they germinate and taken outdoors gradually to acclimatise them. It is a fast growing annual or biennial with aromatic leaves and heads of vivid orange daisy-like flowers.
Plant bee balm in spring, as the plants are starting to grow, or in summer when they are flowering. We will endeavour to buy plants already pre-grown to give our garden a bit of early zing!
Plant your comfrey cutting mid to late spring. Common Comfrey or wild Comfrey is self-seeded and will, once established, spread quickly.
When we start thinking about Strawberries we will be looking at planting summer-fruiting, perpetual and alpine strawberries to ensure we have a variety of strawberries to taste and to give our garden a unique look. All strawberry plants will be available from early to late spring to plant in our garden.
And finally peas! We will sow in early spring and keep sowing for several weeks to ensure we have a regular crop throughout the summer and into autumn. As we pick our peas and eat fresh from the plant, we will be encouraging the plant to produce more.
In order to get our garden growing we will also need to tidy the plot, clear any weeds and mulch.