6 thoughts on “Site Icon”

  1. Hi Keir,
    I am loving the site as I’ve posted before and feeling very envious indeed. The photos are excellent, as are all the brilliant tips. Please can you provide nore detailed information on how to prune and train a single-tier apple and what you use to ward off aphids and other predators, as your fruit trees look to be in extremely healthy condition.
    And have you yet found a garden hose that does not kink?!
    Best wishes Tim

    • Thanks for the kind words Tim. First, I too have problems with pests. I just don’t photograph my plants when they are not at their best! Aphids were a nightmare on my cherry causing leaves to curl terribly every year. Ants were spreading them and I couldn’t get rid of them.
      The last two years one of my apples has suffered from mussel scale. Commercial fruit trees have a strict regimen of spraying (something like 5 times per year!) I’ve always tried to grow organically, but this year I am trying a systemic insecticide (Bug Clear Ultra – acetamiprid) in May, i.e. several weeks after pollination but months before harvest. The organic soaps and pyrethroids are not without impact on beneficial insects.
      Garden hose? No. Mine kinks. I have two, front and back garden. Will add another so I can reach all areas easily.
      Training a step-over. It depends on what you have to start with. I would choose a healthy 1 or 2 yr old tree at the garden centre – looking for one that had a couple of strong opposing branches at about the height I want. Cut out the leader above this union, then plant and bend the branches horizontal. Each year bend down and tie in the new growth from the tips of these two branches and summer prune all other growth in late July to 5 leaves from the base, (approx two inch stumps) to encourage fruiting spurs. Here is a detailed (and unnecessarily complex IMO) step-by-step visual guide here if you want to start from a one year old whip. (https://realenglishfruit.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/stepover_complete_800.jpg)
      If you want individual advice let me know and I’ll send you my email, then you can send me photos of what you’ve got.

      • Hi Keir,
        Firstly, my pleasure. Secondly, many thanks for coming back to me and thank you so much for your very useful information. My email is: XXXXXXXXXX and I will gladly send you some photos if you don’t mind and details of what I have planted.
        I certainly know of the Bug Clear Ultra, but haven’t used it, and I am also trying to garden as organically as possible – very frustrating, especially when the pests have alternative plans!!
        Hope you’re having a great weekend.
        All best wishes

      • This is a bright gazania flower that we had in our previous garden. I just cropped a square 300pixel image from the photo of the whole plant, carefully centre-ing on the middle of the flower so that when the icon gets auto-formatted to a circle it still looks good. Works well for me 🙂 My husband liked your icon too so that’s two of us 🙂 Its great!


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