Grow your own cherries for Christmas

Cherries are the quintessential Christmas treat, with delicious shiny red fruit becoming available in summer. A big bowl of chilled cherries is hard to resist, as are fruit and savoury salads with cherries, cherry glaze for ham, cherry puddings, cakes, tarts and cheesecake. You can never have too many cherries!

You can grow cherries at home if you live in a climate where you receive enough ‘chilling hours’. So cherries are best suited to areas with cool or cold winters, however there are some varieties that will bear fruit in warmer areas.

Cherry trees vary in size from medium height trees down to dwarf varieties in the Fleming’s® nurseries ‘Trixzie®’ range that grow to around 2.5 m tall, which are perfect for smaller gardens. In addition to delicious fruit, cherry trees also have pretty blossoms in spring and lovely autumn foliage.

Cherry trees are most commonly available in winter as bare rooted plants but potted trees can be available at other times of the year. Choose a variety that’s suited to

your climate and also check to see whether that variety is self-fertile or needs pollination from another cherry. They need a spot with at least 6 hours of sunshine a day and well-drained soil.

Cherry pest tip: pear & cherry slugs can attack and skeletonise cherry tree foliage. They can be controlled by spraying trees thoroughly every 7 – 14 days with Yates® Success® Ultra Insect Control.

And for other stone fruit like apricots, peaches, plums and nectarines, continue to reapply Yates Nature’s Way® Fruit Fly Control each week to the trunk, lower foliage or a piece of plywood hung in the orchard to help prevent fruit from being infested with fruit fly maggots. Weekly reapplication is vital to protect the fruit until it’s ready to harvest.

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Crisp slices of pear on a cheese platter, delicious pear tarts & refreshing savoury salads are just a few of the ways pears can be enjoyed.