Plums are a tasty fruit that grow in abundance and can be enjoyed fresh and cooked in sauces, desserts and jams.
They are best grown from a rootstock, especially if you are lacking space. Plum trees can grow very large, however there are smaller varieties that can be trained.
The rootstock needs to be planted in well-drained soil in a sunny position, kept weed-free and watered regularly. Add a supporting stake before planting the rootstock to avoid any damage to the roots. Also add mulch in spring to retain moisture, keep the weeds at bay and to offer nitrogen. They are best planted when they are dormant in late autumn or early spring.
If you have a variety that you wish to train, you will need to add a supporting, fence-type structure. There are three main types of pruning and training - fan, pyramid and bush.
Prune your trees in early spring or early summer for more mature trees. Pruning when the tree is dormant can result in silver leaf and canker.
Plum trees may require fleece protection from frosts when they are blossoming if they are an early variety.
When the tree does produce fruit, this crop can be so much so, that it exhausts the tree and may not produce fruit in the following year. To help this, always regularly check for rotten or diseased fruits and remove them and harvest very regularly. Continually thin them out and give them space to grow. Fruits are usually ready for picking during August-October.