Germination and fruit tree Qs

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    Hello Charles

    Following the advice in your excellent diary, I sowed onions, chives and coriander today and hoping to sow some dill tonight/tomorrow. All are in seed trays in an unheated, droughty greenhouse. Do you recommend I leave them where they are to germinate in their own time or should I bring them in the house and move them back to the cold once they’ve germinated?

    On a different note, I have several 1-2 year old apple and pear trees that I didn’t get round to pruning last summer. Should I prune last seasons growth now or wait until the summer and prune around 1/3 of the new seasons growth only? Don’t see many (if any) fruit buds currently.

    The young trees are spaced just under 2M apart and I’m intending to keep them small (despite them being on M26 etc). As such, do you think I could get away with planting some sort of crops between the trees, either annual (say onions) or perennial (asparagus, globe artichokes)? I think I may be asking for too much here.

    For vacant space around the trees, would you advise white clover ground cover? I understand slugs adore clover. The trees are a few metres from the grow beds so I could be asking for trouble here. Or perhaps, the slugs may just get distracted by the clover and leave the beds alone?

    Really sorry for asking so many questions. Would appreciate any advice you are able to offer.




    Hi Asif. Yes bring the seed trays to warmth, until you see shoots of growth. Germination and subsequent growth will be much stronger.
    The fruit trees, I would prune about a third to half of new growth now, then another third to half of the new season growth in July. How much you cut off depends partly how big you want the trees.
    If you grow perennial veg or clover between those trees, the tree vigour will be compromised. I would grow onions or garlic. They finish in summer when trees often runs short of moisture.
    And you are right, clover might increase slugs.



    Thanks for your succinct guidance Charles.

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