Les’s Patch column

Les Foden.
Les Foden.

Now is a good time to plant some varieties of fruits.

One to look out for is a new raspberry. Up to now the most popular variety was Glen Moy but this new one is a rival – Malling June, which had been bred by the East Malling Research.

Malling Juno is early to fruit, from mid-June onwards with large, juicy fruits. Another good point about this variety is that the canes are spine free.

A new gooseberry is Martlet, which is a vigorous, sweet, red, hairless desert variety with the famous Invicta in its parentage.

Heavy crops are ready from May onwards and produced on bushes said to be almost free of thorns and resistant to mildew and leaf spot.

Why not try growing plums in containers? There are two varieties to try. First, the best of all, Victoria, which will give fruit at the end of August. The other is Opal which is earlier, ready at the end of July. Both are self-fertile so you could just grow the one without problems.

Most gardens contain at least a few rose bushes but can any garden be complete without a climbing rose?

If a garden has bare wall, trellis, fence, pergola or an arch, a climbing rose will make full use of the space available and there is a wide range of colours and varieties to choose from.

But choose carefully. If planting against a brick wall avoid reds as a lighter colour will show much better. Although, on a pergola, where there is perhaps a background of evergreens, red will show off to its best.

When planting near a patio or seating area, fragrance is very important. A great advantage of planting climbers is they don’t take up much ground space.

Albertine is a strong growing variety which has salmon pink scented blooms.

Golden Showers is very free flowering in yellow from early May to September and Swan Lake has white tinged pink flowers from June to September.

One of the best for fragrance, quality of flower and continuous flowering from June right through until autumn is Compassion. Climbing roses give so much to a garden.

Taking a look at vegetable varieties to order, if growing for the first time use the tried and trusted varieties.

For carrots, the early one has to be Early Nantes – a good one because this can be sown little and often during the year. Sow from March to August to be ready from July to October.

A later variety is Autumn King which is very hardy so stays in the ground until needed. Sown March to August they will be ready June to December.

When growing cabbages think about the variety which crops regularly. Try Golden Acre. Plant 12 inches apart and when ready harvest every other one.