They say you can’t judge a book by its cover and thank goodness for that! Otherwise, we may have never tasted the delicious nutty flavours of the classic walnut. It’s one of the oldest tree foods known to man – dating back to 7000BC – and incredibly nutritious, too. You do need serious room for this tree though as it can reach dizzying heights of 15m or taller. Plus, at least two trees are recommended to help with pollination – so consider your space before planting!

How to grow walnuts in a garden

  1. Choose a sunny spot with well drained soil. Make sure there’s plenty of room around the spot you’ve chosen so plan for 10 years time. Enrich the soil with organic matter, like Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser
  2. Dig the planting hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the root-ball. Remove the shrub from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots.
  3. Position in hole and backfill, gently firming down. Form a raised or doughnut shaped ring of soil around the outer edge of the plant's root zone. This helps keep water where it's needed.  Always water in well after planting to settle the soil around the roots and keep the soil moist for several weeks while the new plant establishes. 
  4. Mulch around the base with organic mulch like bark chips, sugarcane or pea straw, keeping it away from the trunk.
  5. Water deeply, once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions.
  6. Feed your tree at least twice a year, in early spring and late summer with a complete fertiliser, like Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser.
  7. TIP: For an added nutrient boost, feed with Yates Thrive Flower & Fruit Soluble Plant Food every two weeks when flowering and fruiting.

Growing tips

  • Two varieties are desirable for effective cross-pollination.
  • Walnuts grow into very large trees that are ideal for country estates in cool, reasonably moist climates. Their ultimate size makes them too large for most suburban gardens.
  • Most familiar variety is the English or Persian walnut.
  • While modern varieties of walnut bear fruit within their first few years, it takes 4–6 years to produce a harvestable quantity and 10–12 years for the tree to reach full production.
  • Pruning is required every 3–4years, depending on growth rates of the tree.
  • You can help the plants to make the most of any available water by mulching heavily over the root area with a 10cm thick layer of organic mulch and by applying Yates Waterwise Soil Wetter Concentrate every six months. Soil wetters encourage water to better penetrate the root zone.


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