Plums are the most popular stone fruit and they are the easiest to grow.
Plums come in all shapes and sizes. They have a smooth textured flesh which depending on variety varies in colour from red to purple and green to yellow. There are dessert and culinary varieties. Dessert varieties can be eaten straight from the tree, these are sweet and succulent, the culinary varieties are firmer and less sweet.
Plums are early flowering so they require protection from frost. The best flavoured plums are the ones grown on a south or west facing position. Grow in moderately fertile, moist, well-drained neutral to slightly acidic soils.
Rootstocks in order of their vigour are outlined below: –
Pixy – Dwarf. An ideal rootstock for the smaller garden. It needs to be grown in fertile and weed-free soil. It will reach a height of 2.4-3m. Trees grown on this rootstock will bear fruit within 3 years. Use for dwarf bushes, dwarf pyramids, and small fans.
WA-VIT – Semi-Vigorous. A robust disease resistant, free standing and non suckering rootstock which is proven to suit a wide range of soils and conditions. Its around 10% smaller than SJA. Trees grown on this rootstock will bear fruit within 3 years. Use for bushes, half-standards, and fans.
St. Julian A – Semi-Vigorous. A good rootstock for most soils. Trees grown on this rootstock will reach a height of 3-3.5m. Trees grown on this rootstock will bear fruit within 4-5 years. Use for bushes, half-standards, and fans.
Plums are available as bare-root one-year-maidens from November to March. Trained forms of plums are available in 12 litre pots all-year-round.