PLUM DUO

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Golden Gage & Damson. Select a sheltered spot wih plently of sunlight and dig over the soil to a depth of 45cm, mixing in plenty of compost. Dig a hole deep enough to accomodate the root ball, ensuring the top of the ball meets the soil. Water in thoroughly and keep the soil moist until the tree is established. Plums, gages and damsons are all stone fruits that thrive in sheltered, warm gardens. Although they all bear the same basic type of fruit, their taste varies from tart and spicy, to sweet and perfumed. All these have their uses, so the final choice is usually a personal one. Some considerations; Site: Plums need a warm and sheltered position to set fruit and crop well. Choose a south- or west-facing spot out of the wind, if you can. Alternatively, try fan training. Garden size: If size is no restriction, choose a standard tree. Dessert (eating) or culinary (cooking): Plum and gages are either dessert or culinary, although some are dual-purpose. Damsons are usually cooked or turned into jam. Storage: Plums develop their best flavour if left to ripen on the tree. Unfortunately, the fruit does not store for long, so must be eaten or preserved. Disease resistance: Resistance to disease is another consideration which varies between cultivars, with modern types often having higher levels of resistance than traditional ones. Pollination group: It is generally much easier to get good pollination with plums, gages and damsons than with apples and pears. This is because many are self-fertile and, as a result, it is possible to grow just one tree. However, they will benefit from cross pollination of another tree in the same pollination group, or an adjacent one. Height and Spread: 4 x 5m in 5 years. Harvest: August to September.

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