choice of apple trees (East Kent)
I'm looking to buy and plant 3 apple trees before the start of winter and would appreciate some advice :-)
I'm thinking about training one as an espalier and two as cordons. I want the look that comes with espaliers, but also want some variety and don't have the space for more than one espalier, hence the mix. It will leave me with a bit of space to add a couple more cordons when I no-doubt find another variety that I have to have :-) Does this sound reasonable?
I obviously need to choose (a) suitable rootstock(s). From what I've read, M26 seems to be the way to go for both espaliers and cordons on good soils. However, the ground in question is far from good - a shallow topsoil on top of chalk and flint. With this in mind, I wonder whether I should go for MM106. How does this sound? Or is there a better option? These will be our first apple trees and I'd love to get to a state of self-sufficency as quickly as possible, so if one rootstock results in a speedier plant-to-harvesting period, that could be the one for me :-)
Variety-wise, I guess I need to choose varieties that a) are spur bearers and b) grow well in the warm and dry climate of East Kent. Also, I'm a fan of crisp, sour apples. Oh, and I'd like to cover early, mind and late season. I'm not asking much am I! :-) Does anyone have any recommendations that might tick these boxes?
Primrose do an RHS Award Winners bundle of trees which consist of an Egremont Russet, a Discovery and a Blenheim Orange. The first 2 are on M26 and the latter is on MM106. It seems a well thought out bundle - taking away some of the complexity and decisions :-) - and is fairly reasonable ar £40. However, I'm not sure if the rootstocks are right, and thus whether they would be a false economy.
Any input would be hugely appreciated! An apple tree is for life..... so I really want to make the right decision.