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Planting around apple trees

Any help appreciated...we have an apple tree planted in our lawn (4 years old) I planted Canonwent around the base 2 years ago (in a circle glower bed at base) - bees love it. Is this draining the apple tree? It seems unstressed. I like in Kent - summer can be very hot and it’s a south facing garden, so my thinking was a) more flowers for pollinators c) the canonwent might shade the roots a little. Should I move the flowers? 


  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,526
    You don’t say how high your apple tree is due to grow. I take it, as you live in the south of England where most gardens are quite small, that it was grafted onto a dwarfing rootstock. If so, the fully grown apple tree will not be a lot taller than the Linaria. And Linaria is a clumping sort of a plant.

    So I would say keep an eye on the Linaria. Don’t let it bully the apple tree.

    In the end, are you aiming to have a lot of apples or a lot of Linaria? When they are both a few years down the road you will have to decide.🙂
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,155
    I'd agree with @pansyface. There's probably going to be too much competition, but if you're saying the tree isn't stressed, I'm not sure there's any problem. You'd just have to keep an eye on it.
    If it's taking over and affecting the tree, you can always replace it with something more suitable. Spring bulbs are always invaluable for early pollinators, and there are plenty of other suitable, low growing plants for later on after the flowers are done on the tree, and the fruits are forming. As long as the ground isn't drying out too much, that will work well.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • The ideal is to keep an area around the base of any tree clear of plants. I put weed matting down under my trees to cover the same radius as the head of the tree. This avoids starvation and dehydration.
  • Keeping the tree clear of plants around it should be common sense. 
  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,526
    Well, as I said, there comes a point when a gardener has to find a balance.

    A commercial orchard would keep the ground free of competing plants at the expense of having a pretty, flowery space.

    But a garden isn’t a commercial orchard. Gardens are also supposed to look attractive.

    So Ann has to find a balance between efficient apple growing and attractive gardening by keeping an eye on the competition.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • Ann85Ann85 Posts: 53
    Thanks so much for all your comments. I will monitor this year and be aware if the apple tree looks affected, I can move the flowers or start again with the flowers from seed in another location. Yes I did read somewhere that spring bulbs can be an option, so I’ll bear that in mind as an option. Thanks everyone! 
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