London (change)
Fri 26°C / 18°C
Tomorrow 28°C / 20°C
8 messages
11/04/2014 at 10:56

I'm busy turning my gardening into an edible garden, including planting a few 2yr-old fruit trees (apple, cherry & plum) along a south facing fence.  My mum says that in 1960s the nearby orchards grew rhubarb under apple trees. Can anyone give me some advice please about whether this is a good idea to do in my garden?...it has plenty of well-rotted manure dug in to it. And if not, what else will be good companion plants to grow under the fruit trees?

My garden is long & thin (a ratio of 1:7.5) and is mostly sunny (apart from a 3 feet strip of deep shade running along north facing long fence line & the area under my neighbour's enormous 40 foot Christmas tree where not even grass grows!). So I need to make the most of the remaining 9'x50' south facing strip. 

Thanks for your help

11/04/2014 at 12:15

Sounds like you are interested in what is now known as forest gardening - useful link for you http://www.agroforestry.co.uk/forgndg.html

11/04/2014 at 21:31

Oooh, sounds interesting...I'll take a look. Thank you Steephill

11/04/2014 at 22:04

KittyK, rhubarb will do fine under your trees... it's grows really fast at this time of year as well. Get some in! It spreads quite well too.

13/04/2014 at 15:31

Thanks Kay. Rhubarbs are now in, looking like patches of soil at mo, so fingers crossed they'll bounce into life soon ready to crop a little next year

14/04/2014 at 22:00

No worries I'm sure it'll grow just fine x

14/04/2014 at 23:39

Kitty, Hi.

I can't see any issues here.Your apple tree is or should be a deeper rooted subject than most veg.  The rhubarb is an above ground producer.  So depth is of little concern.  In fact perhaps the over shadow of the tree might well entice the 'barb to reach for the skies.  Othewise.  Plant way from the tree trunk by about two feet.  To be on the safe side.  I personally would lay down some good topsoil mixed with compost or farmyard manure to about a foot deep.  Dig this in.  Then you will have good depth for most crops.  Most important.  Don't forget to water well.

15/04/2014 at 08:51

Thanks Mike. I've already planted the rhubarb & apple tree, although the rhubarb is closer than 2 feet there's plenty of manure a foot deep. The rhubarb are 1st year crowns, and the tree is a 2yr-old, so if either shows signs that they are not doing well I'll move them in the winter to a more generous spacing.

email image
8 messages