Gages are a highly reliable fruit for gardeners. They provide positively delicious plump fruit. Gages are related to plums but grow better in southern areas of the UK.
You can either eat the fresh fruits or make the crumbles, pies and jams from it. The good news is that gages don’t require much space, and you can even grow them in the smallest garden.
Here are some tips for growing the gages effectively:
- Use fleece to cover the flowering plants during frost.
- Use canes to keep the fleece away from flowers.
- Thin out the plants once the fruit has set in early summer.
- Prop up the branches in mid and late summer.
- Water and feed the plants at the right time to ensure better yields.
- Feed the established trees with mulch in mid-spring
- Supplement the plants with a top dressing of dried poultry pellets or nitrogen fertilizer
- Scatter one or two handfuls of high potassium general fertilizer in each square metre/yard of bare soil.
- Summer and spring is the perfect time to prune the plants.
- Don’t prune the plants in late autumn or dormant season. Otherwise, your plants will get infected with bacterial canker or silver leaf disease.
The best time to plant the gages trees is the dormant season in the early spring or late winter before the onset of growth.
Trees that are cultivated bare-root do better than those that are grown in containers. You can train the trees with training trees or stakes based on the tree form you want to grow.
The best conditions to plant gages are loamy soils or good clay. Moreover, the planting soils for the gages should be well-drained.
- Feed the plant with organic matter before you plant the gages.
- Use large containers while growing the plants in containers to avoid compost drying out in pots.
- Ensure the planting sites are sheltered from wind and frost. Otherwise, your plants may be dead.
- Ensure the planting of at least one tree with Restrictive and rootstocks techniques
You will find hundreds of cultivars for cooking and making desserts. You can also use a dual-purpose cultivar if you have limited space. Moreover, make sure which variety you’re buying, either self-fertile or self-infertile.
Gages taste best when they are allowed to ripen on the tree. You can squeeze the fruits gently to know if they are ready to pick or not. If they feel soft, it means they are ripe and ready to harvest.
You can pick the gages several times. While harvesting the fruits make sure it doesn’t get damaged. After harvesting, you can eat the fruits immediately, freeze them or preserve them.
This disease turns the leaves silver. Besides, it makes the plant breaches appear red when they are cut.
Prune the plants in early spring
The larvae of plum sawfly tunnel and plum moth enter the fruits, rendering them untasteful. In addition, the plum moth deforms the fruits, causing them to fall in summer.
- Identify the damaged fruits in May.
- Remove the damaged fruits before the larvae enter the soil.
- Capture the male moths with Pheromone
It is a fungal disease. It appears as brown rot in fruits or blemishes on the fruit surface. The disease gets worse during wet summers.
Remove and destroy the rotten fruits. Otherwise, the disease will spread throughout the plant.
Wasp can damage any tree fruit. The higher sugar content attracts the wasps to the plant, damaging the fruits and posing a threat to gardeners.
- Trap the wasps using hang wasps. You can hang these hang wasps in the trees.
- Make sure the overripe fruits don’t fall on the ground due to windy conditions. If any do, gather them up as soon as possible to stop wasps being attracted to them.
Take a look at BBC food for recipes using gages
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