The blog of BaggieAggie, designer of bags, gadget cases and other fabulous accessories handmade in Wales. Sprinkled with recipes, gardening chat, the odd piece of short fiction, and anything else that inspires (or annoys!) me. So pull up a comfy chair and stay a while.


Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Apple trees in pots on patio or deck

Red Windsor apple tree in pot. In January 2009, two apple minarettes arrived, dormant and packed in straw. After taking advice on what types of apples we could successfully grow in our particular part of the UK, we'd chosen the varieties Red Windsor and Sunset (pollination groups A and B respectively, for harvests in early and mid-autumn). Equally excited and nervous, we planted them in large pots using John Innes No.3. Knowing we'd have to repot and cut back root growth every 2-3 years, and mindful of drainage and deck-cleaning issues, we set the pots on wheeled trolleys.

In the first year, we had little blossom and therefore little fruit. And what fruit did appear was destroyed by what we discovered were codling moth. Not that we should have allowed the trees to fruit at all in their first year, but we couldn't resist! We'd learned our lesson, though, and that autumn both trees were protected against these wee beasties by wrapping codling moth traps around each slender trunk. It was only in the following spring that we realised we'd forgotten to wrap the traps around the tree stakes as well. Duh!

So, convinced that codling moth would win the day again, we watched in trepidation as masses of scented apple blossom appeared and disappeared, and fruits began to swell. We fed the trees with tomato food at two-weekly intervals, just in case all was well, and prayed.

Thankfully, our prayers were answered: the Red Windsor apples in the photo are almost ready to harvest and look fine. Phew! The Sunset fruits look good too, and we'll be harvesting those in late September/early October. (Of course, now I've said that, something unforeseen is bound to happen. Watch this space...!)