A perfectly ripe pear is the real treat of autumn. Enjoy the fruits of pears that you already have in your garden. If you don’t have one, you can plant it easily in your garden. The good news is you can even grow it in containers.
Among various pear types, you can classify them into two main categories.
- Dessert pears: you can use them for eating
- Cookers: you can use them for cooking
You don’t need to put much effort once the pears are established. However, here’re some tips for maintaining the pear plants:
· Water the plants when they start swelling or in dry weather conditions
· Apply high potash fertiliser in the crop in early spring. One such fertiliser is Vitax Q4. Feed the plants grown in bare soil with two handfuls per square metre/ yard of fertiliser. However, add 2.5 handfuls of fertiliser to the plants grown in the grass.
· Prune the pears every year to get the high yield crop. The technique and time to prune the pears vary based on the cultivar types.
A sheltered but sunny site is the best location to plant the pears.
- Avoid the plants from frost pockets
- Don’t plant the pears in shallow and poorly drained soil
Pear trees are available in the market in two forms:
- Bare-root stock: the roots of the plants will be exposed. You can plant them starting from autumn to early spring.
- Containerised plant: the roots of the plants will be in containers. You can plant throughout the winter. However, winter is preferred.
Planting in containers
While planting the pears in the containers, keep the following things in mind:
- Ensure that you have purchased the plants explicitly grown for containers
- Ensure that the treetop is grafted onto the rootstock of the container.
- Choose a container with 18-20 inches diameter.
- Place some crocks in the container bottom. It will help to retain all the moisture in the soil.
- Fill the container with high-quality compost such as John Innes No 3 is ideal. You can also use the 1/3rd volume of grit and multipurpose compost to fill the container.
Planting in the garden
Here’s your step by step guide to planting the pears in the garden:
- Dig a hole such that its diameter is 3 times the root system’s diameter
- Break the hard soil around the hole with a fork before planting the pears.
- Place the pear plant inside the hole carefully.
- Refill the hole with soil such that there is no air pocket
- Step on the soil to firm it
When it comes to when should you harvest the pears, keep the following things in mind
Pick the pears when they are
- not fully ripened
- undergoing colour changes
You can pick fruit and taste it for sweetness and firmness. Then, if all is good, gently twist the fruit to select it.
You can’t eat pear immediately after harvesting. It takes a week for early cultivars to eat. On the other hand, you need around months before the later cultivars are ready to eat.
It is also a fungal disease that gets worse in humid summer conditions. It appears as brown rot, which progresses into white fungal pustules on the plant surface.
Destroy the rotten fruit to avoid its spread
It appears as bright orange spots in early autumn and summer. However, it’s the upper surface of the pear leaves that are mostly infected with pear rust.
You can’t control the pear rust chemically. The only remedy is trimming and disposing of the infected leaves as soon as you notice the pear rust. It will not allow the spread of pear rust.
Pear leaf blister mite
It is the most commonly occurring mite on the pear leaves. It results in the formation of red or yellow blisters on the leaves. These blisters on the leaves eventually turn black.
- Remove the infected leaves
Here are 30 recipes using pears from Delicious Magazine
For more information or assistance with this article, or if you want to add something that you feel is relevant, we would love to hear from you via the Contact Us page.