Monday, 10 February 2014

A full house for fruit pruning workshop

Keith Blundell, Gardener in Charge, explains the art of pruning apples
Despite the bitterly cold winds that accosted Gibside, Gardener in Charge Keith Blundell had a full house of 22 participants for his winter fruit pruning masterclass in the walled garden. The day started off with the essentials: tea, coffee and chocolate biscuits, before the group gathered outside the garden hub for a demonstration on the art of pruning apple trees.
hands-on pruning in the walled garden apple borders
The group was then divided up and let loose to practise their techniques on some of the established apple trees growing in the walled garden. Winter pruning of apples is crucial for maintaining a healthy tree, and ensuring a good crop of apples for the following year.
absorbing the details of fan training plum trees
In the afternoon, whilst a pair of kites dallied overhead, the masterclass was focused on the craft of fan training fruit by studying the plum trees in the walled garden. Next, it was on to the method of training apple trees into espaliers.
the pruning toolkit
The final part of the day was spent going through the pruning regimes of the various types of soft fruit that are grown within the walled garden; this includes: red and white currants, black currants, loganberries, summer and autumn fruiting raspberries, and blackberries.

We'd like to thank everyone for attending the masterclass, and hope that despite the February chill and more than a few numb fingers, you enjoyed the day and learnt some new fruit pruning skills.

If you fancy honing your fruit pruning skills with our expert Gardener in Charge, or just want to direct a few tricky questions his way, why not come along to our summer fruit pruning masterclass on Sunday 17th August 2014. For more information visit our website.

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