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The cause of the splits is invariably irregular watering. When the tree suddenly gets a hefty drink following a period of drought, the apples quickly expand, which often leads to the skin cracking. The fruit usually produces a corky, scab
Pears ripening on the tree are damaged by wasps excavating holes into the soft, juicy flesh. The holes are initially created by hungry birds, then wasps are attracted by the juice and move in.Pears that are still on the tree display hollowed out cavities, often with wasps still i...
This autumn I intend to add to my collection of fruiting shrubs for birds. I’m going to take advantage of the fact that plants are available more cheaply now we’ve hit bare-root planting season.Unlike pot-grown specimens, bare-root plants are dug
I’m a big fan of raspberries, which are the most reliable of all the soft fruit crops that I grow. My soil is heavy and alkaline, and I’ve found that autumn-fruiting raspberries last much longer in it than summer-fruiting varieties. So now I stick
Just as your fruits are beginning to ripen, grey mould (a fungus called botrytis) can ruin them. Small brown spots form on the skin, then spread over the whole fruit, turning it soft and brown. As the fruit deteriorates, a fuzzy grey layer of mould
Chilli plants will thrive on a sunny window sill or in a greenhouse. They have a long cropping season, so you could still be harvesting fresh chillies in December. You will need just two small pots to sow your chilli seeds; use a good quality seed compost and keep them in a brigh...
More advice on growing fruitMake the most of summer raspberriesGrow early strawberriesGrow blueberries and cranberriesEnjoy a long season of raspberriesBrowse a variety of fruit
Monty demonstrates how to plant autumn-fruiting raspberries, and offers tips on soil preparation, planting depth and spacing. October-NovemberMore on growing raspberriesHow to enjoy a long raspberry seasonVideo advice ongrowing raspberries
Watch Monty Don as he experiments with a new method of growing summer-fruiting raspberries, which claims to yield fruit in the first year.springMore on growing raspberriesRead Lila Das Gupta's blog on growing raspberriesMaking the most of summer
Forcing rhubarb by covering the crowns will encourage the plants to make early growth. These forced stalks can be harvested for use in cooking when they are 20cm - 30cm long and make a useful substitute for fruit when there is little else in store