I have taken on a plot of land 12meters square and intend planting it
as a small fruit orchard, with apples, pears, plums, cherries and
gooseberries as a surrounding hedging (keeps the 2 legged rats at bay
;-). What trained forms, cordons, espalliers, or bushes should yield
the heaviest harvests from this site?
Heaviest yields would be from sutiable varieties grown as bushes - but
they take the most space up. Cordons take the least space and hence you
can get more varieties. Espaliers are inbetween. However espaliers and
cordons are labour intensive.
Let me get this straight. You want to make a hedge of gooseberries to
stop people pinching your gooseberries. Am I missing something here?
One traditional solution to the two-legged rat problem is Himalayan
Giant brambles. The tail-less rodents can help themselves as much as
they like on their side, but that won't matter. A bit of effort to
keep them within bounds, of course, but probably worth it.
Or something grafted on a dwarfing rootstock. There are also some family
trees with two or more cultivars grafted onto a single rootstock.
They are expensive and a bit more trouble to maintain but you can get
heavy crops of two different apples out of the space occupied by a
single tree. I have one and it crops surprisingly well. Obviously not as
many as on a full sized tree but still more than we can sensibly eat in
Worth choosing the cultivars to suit your local growing conditions.
For fruit trees, the yields would be best with a vigorous rootstock and a full
time size tree.
However, these trees would not translate well to the trained forms. Dwarf or
dwarf would be more appropriate here and the governing factor would be how many
branches could be supported.
Gene Yale is a member of our Midfex club and he has squeezed close to a
of apple trees into his small urban lot, but none of them has espalier form. I
hope you are aware
that espalier requires a lot of work to set up and maintain.
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