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Buying fruit bushes/trees

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  • Buying fruit bushes/trees

    As we are gradually taming the new plot, and will have it ready for autumn, I've decided to turn the bottom part over to fruit bushes and trees.

    When I last bought some apple trees, I got them from a fruit specialist - not cheap but they have done well over the past couple of years in the garden. However, having seen very cheap fruit trees and bushes in Wilkinsons, I'm wondering if these are better 'value', especially in an allotment situation.

    So, the question is, are the cheap bushes/trees from places such as Wilkinsons/Woollies any good? All advice greatly received
    http://inelegantgardener.blogspot.com

  • #2
    Purely my own experience as a VERY amateur gardener but my results with Wilko stuff haven't been great - the fig died, the rhubarb died and the raspberry has had about six fruits in three years!

    Not to say that someone with the know how to nurse them along wouldn't have done better but I suspect it's a case of 'you get what you pay for'.

    Claire
    I was feeling part of the scenery
    I walked right out of the machinery
    My heart going boom boom boom
    "Hey" he said "Grab your things
    I've come to take you home."

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    • #3
      Cheap twigs.

      Yes I think you do get what you paid for, these plants and others which appear in Woolworth's, Aldi, Lidl, At home (formerly Poundstretcher) amongst others are basically rooted cuttings.

      They are not named varieties, so for instance the Rasberries I bought in the spring, 3 plants for a £3, one of which died, I have no idea when they will fruit.

      I bought a 3 plant pack from Aldi which were Gooseberry, Redcurrant and blackberry, the blackberry has died. I don't know when the others will fruit, if ever.

      I also purchased a £1.99 blueberry which is still a tiny plant.

      I think they can be good value if you, for instance, have an allotment and lots of ground to plant up, and/or if you are prepared to wait several years for fruit.

      I'm now of the mind if you are going to invest time, watering, feeding, mulching etc... on fruit then invest a little bit on decent quality, named plants with growing and pruning instructions.

      I wish I had done really.

      The expensive nursery bought plants i bought only a year ago are big healthy and are in full fruit which I will be eating any day now.
      Blogging at..... www.thecynicalgardener.wordpress.com

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      • #4
        You can strike lucky, we have a Stella cherry tree I bought from Woolies years ago. For the size of it, it gives us a decent crop each year, so long as we keep the blackbirds away from it.

        On the other hand, I bought two blueberry bushes from Woolies earlier this year. Bought a bag of ericaceous compost, potted them up, but they both died.

        I find Wilkos labelling a bit hit and miss. If they do put a variety name on the packaging, what's inside is not always the same.

        valmarg

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        • #5
          PS: If you buy from an accredited supplier, and the plants fail, you have some comeback. You can get replacements.

          With my blueberries, I can't imagine Woolies giving me a refund.

          valmarg

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          • #6
            I am a huge fan of woolies. I've had goosegogs, currants, blueberries and cranberries that have all thrived since I bought them. The blueberry I spent £10 from the garden centre died, whereas my woolies £3 plant is doing well. Having said that, the kiwi I bought from woolies died, but they offer you a full refund as shop policy. I have had worse experience with my local nursery that refused to replace a diseased tree once we returned it (as they specified).

            I am all for quality but see no distinction between garden centres and high street shops. The only thing I would say is buy a named variety, and woolies offer several.

            I think that as gardeners, our greatest asset is the swap shop.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by SimonCole View Post

              I am all for quality but see no distinction between garden centres and high street shops.
              I agree - and therefore very rarely do i buy plants such as fruit from either!

              I really do feel its a 'get what you pay for' situation, and also remembering that you're not always going to get the best advice from these sort of places. Big general garden centres and particularly high street shops don't have the staff to look after the plants properley once they come into stock - some of the plants i see at the garden entre look awful - God knows how long they have been sitting there, neglected!

              I nearly always buy my fruit from specialist nurseries like Ken Muir,or occasionally from well known online sellers (like T&M, Dobies, marshalls etc)
              There's vegetable growing in the family, but I must be adopted
              Happy Gardening!

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              • #8
                We've bought stuff from Ken Muir and Dobies before, and I must say that places like Marshalls and Dobies and KM often have good offers on.

                I've just ordered a "Raspberry Collection" from Marshalls, which is 6 canes each of Glen Moy, Glen Ample and Joan J (so in theory cropping throughout the season) for £25 - about 72p a cane I think. At least if they fail, I've got some recompense!

                I bought my sister some minarette apples for her birthday and they are really good. Have started cropping this year and have grown loads. I was very impressed. Sometimes it's worth spending a little bit more...

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                • #9
                  Thank you all for your responses. I think I'll start surfing the net and reading catalogues, ready for the autumn planting
                  http://inelegantgardener.blogspot.com

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