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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

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

Kay8

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.

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

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Kay8

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

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.

I am about to move a rhubarb to put it under a two year old apple tree. As we live in central Italy, the summers are very hot. But this crown seems to have survived despite the heat.  Like KittyK, I have limited space and it will have to be planted less than a metre from the trunk.

I wonder how KittyK fared with her rhubarb under an apple tree?

pansyface

RHUBARB LIKES A LOT OF MOISTURE AND A LOT OF NITROGEN. AN ANCIENT NEIGHBOUR OF MINE, BACK IN THE 1960s, USED TO EMPTY HIS CHAMBERPOT (YES REALLY) ONTO HIS RHUBARB EVERY DAY. THE STICKS WERE LIKE IRON GIRDERS.

APPLE TREES DON'T NEED A LOT OF MOISTURE AND CERTAINLY DON'T NEED A LOT OF NITROGEN.

I THINK THE TWO PLANTS WOULD BE MUCH HAPPIER WAVING TO EACH OTHER FROM ACROSS THE GARDEN THAN BEING PUSHED TOGETHER AS BEDFELLOWS.

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