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Apple trees & Veg Combo?

Hi, I have a bare bed that gets a good amount of sun through out the day. I recently planted two apple trees roughly 4 metres apart on dwarf rootstocks (M9 & M26). However I had planned to use it as a vegetable patch, but have read conflicting information about growing veg anywhere near these trees. Can Anyone enlighting me on what I should or shouldn't do. Veg I was interested is Toms (yes I know its a fruit but hey), Luttuce, Onions & herbs. I realise I wouldn't be able to cram all of these in the space but I'd like something at least so it doesn't look so bare.


  • FleurisaFleurisa Posts: 779

    You need to make sure you don't risk damaging the tree roots by planting anything near them.

  • iGrowiGrow Posts: 183
    I have raspberries growing under an apple tree.
  • Lettuce, onions and low growing herbs will be fine, just keep them about 70cm from the main apple tree stems. You may need to feed slightly more but a couple of handfuls of blood, fish and bone per sq meter every month will do the trick. 

    You say the apple trees are new so the roots wont have spread yet.

  • Hi, I was in exactly the same position two years ago. I planted beetroot, lettuce and spring onions about 50-100 cm from the base of my Ashmeads Kernel apple tree and it was fine, producing beautiful apples. I am planting out around it again this year too. My garden is on the small side so I need to make the most of all the space I can. I have always mixed my veg around trees and flowers, all has been well so far!


  • Thanks for the feedback everyone. I was a little concerned as they are newly planted & really don't want to do things that will harm my trees. I think I'll leave the space immediately near the tree at least a good 2 to 3 ft, However I may plant some chives within this space as they seem to be a good companion. The space in the middle I will leave for lettuce & Onions. On the outer sides I may plant some mint i'm undecided. Are there any beneficial flowers to add a little colour I heard daffodils are ok to plant near/around the trees.

    I Have also got some pallets that I'm going to break down and make some planters, I shall use these for my toms.

  • Scrap the mint Idea, Just read that it can be quite invasive.

  • Jim MacdJim Macd Posts: 750
    Fleurisa wrote (see)

    You need to make sure you don't risk damaging the tree roots by planting anything near them.

    That was my first thought too. The apple roots will grow out along the surface quite a way even in the first year. I was surpirsed when I took down my shed a 1 yrf maiden had been planted against.  They went out well over a meter.

  • Jim MacdJim Macd Posts: 750
    Kevin Slinger wrote (see)

    Scrap the mint Idea, Just read that it can be quite invasive.

    By 'quite' you mean it will run amuck and invade your whole garden? image I would only grow mint in a contained area that's is six inch thick tungston tank. image

  • Thanks for the tip I will plant the mint in a container

  • Of course if you don't want the bed to look so bare and you are worried about the planting of veg near the trees then like the suggestion with the mint, you could place planters/pots containing veg around in the bed. Whilst the trees are young there should be enough light and they should still get water without having to compete with other roots.

    Just an idea.image

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