Tuesday, June 19, 2018

25 Sep

All You Need To Know About Plums!

Plums may not be the most popular garden fruit, but this doesn’t mean they don’t have their benefits. There are plenty of culinary wonders to be created with plums and plum trees make a brilliant feature in any garden.

When pruning plum trees make sure you follow one simple rule – if in doubt don’t prune at all. Leaving any kind of plum tree unpruned won’t harm it greatly, but pruning at the wrong time can seriously damage the tree. Plums, like all other stone fruit should only be pruned during their growing season, between April and August. Make sure you prune your plum tree while it’s growing to train it into shape and once it’s established, prune to get rid of any dead wood.

Plum tries are susceptible to a small amount of diseases that can be easily avoided. Silverleaf will attack any fresh cuts and wounds on your plum tree and spreads most in the winter months. Making it even more important to prune during the spring and summer. If silverleaf becomes severe it can cause the branches to die and fall off and even kill the whole tree. To avoid silverleaf prune earlier in the year and cut off any infected branches.

Also look out for bud drop, peaches, nectarines, plums, cherries, almonds, apples and crab apple trees are included as victims of this disease. Late spring frosts damage or destroy developing blossoms. Heavy winds and spring storms injure blooms and without even blooming, the flower heads will simply drop to the ground and die.

The brilliant thing about plums is how versatile they are when it comes to cooking. Plums are extremely healthy and extremely high in antioxidants. They are known as the juiciest fruit in the stone fruit family and come in many different varieties, some sweet, some slightly more tart. All plums, however have certain characteristics in common, with smooth, richly coloured skins and a hard central stone.

Plums vary in hue from deep purple to red, yellow and green. Don’t worry about the slight cloudy layer on their skin, it’s a natural colour and they are still just as ripe . Why not try to make plum jam, plum crumble or plum and almond chutney.

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2 Comments on "All You Need To Know About Plums!"

  1. Terry Hooper on Wed, 6th Jun 2012 10:10 am 

    I have 3 plum trees in my garden one is good old Victoria but this year not one of them has had a single blossom. The Victoria was full of fruit last year but the other 2 had nothing. Before I compost the lot is there anything I can do?

  2. Jersey gardener on Wed, 6th Jun 2012 11:05 am 

    Hi Terry,

    Thanks for your comment.

    Unfortunately I don’t have a quick fix when it comes to your problem but it shouldn’t worry you too much just yet.

    Plum trees rely on a lot of variables to flower and produce fruit year after year. If just one of these conditions is unfavorable your trees may not blossom.
    Because all three of your trees aren’t flowering it must be something with the ability to affect them all at once. Judging by our weather the early hot spell we had may have caused your plum trees to start the flowering process only to be stopped by the sudden cold weather straight after.

    Bear in mind that plum trees also require a certain amount of cold days during dormancy to produce healthy blossoms, the dormancy season may have affected their flowering ability depending on where you live.

    The only other thing I can think of is the possibility of your trees being infected or diseased, but the signs for this would be quite obvious so let me know if you spot anything!

    It shouldn’t be something to worry about too much. Obviously it is disappointing when your trees don’t produce plums but just keep on caring for your trees in the same way you have been and they should be blooming in no time.

    If you have any other questions please let me know.
    Jersey Gardener.

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