Cases of manure contamination are still cropping up see here so it's still important to take care when acquiring supplies. This is especially important in areas where Forefront weedkiller is used.

If you grow aquilegias then you should read this article in the Telegraph about a 'new' disease,

Harrod Horticultural have a sale - up to 50% off over 80 lines click here

Sarah Raven also has a sale click here

Harrod Horticultural are offering 10% discount on their raised beds click here and quote RB10 at the checkout

Wednesday, November 7

A chance to try growing something different

The number of people that make contact through my blog always amazes me. I guess that I am still amazed that there are people out there from all over the world that actually read what I write.

I've had a few emails recently, one of which was from a company called Spalding Bulbs inviting me to join their newly formed Bloggers' club. In the email they sited reasons why I should join, one reason which appealed to me was that I would be sent free seeds, bulbs and plants to review. Now I like to try different things and this way I could do just that and for free. So I joined on the understanding that any review that I made would be honest and not necessarily positive.

After joining, I was sent a list of plants from which I had to choose an item to review. For a while I've kept seeing adverts in gardening magazines for apples that have red flesh and have been intrigued but couldn't really justify buying yet another apple tree. Then along came the chance to get such a tree free, as on the list was one such apple - Baya Marissa.

Shortly after placing my order the tree was delivered.

The tree provided is a maiden which means that it is little more than a long rooted stick. Although this is exactly what is described in the product description on the website, I must admit that, after buying two year old trees recently, the size was at first a bit of a shock.

Then after consideration this apple is sold for £19.95 which is considerably cheaper than the larger fruit trees that I have bought. Also having browsed the Internet since receiving the tree, I have found that many suppliers don't actually state the size of the tree being supplied.
The planting instructions stated that before planting the tree should be soaked in a bucket of lukewarm water and so we did just that and have now planted it up in a pot which will be kept in the cold greenhouse over winter to allow it to settle in. The tree could have been planted straight in the ground but we didn't want to do this.

I had already decided that the tree would most likely join our collection of pot grown fruit trees rather than be planted on the plot and the description did say that the tree could be kept in a large pot. A feature of the tree is red blossom which means it can double as an ornamental tree.
As for our other fruit trees I have wrapped the pot in bubblewrap to give some extra protection. I'll keep you up to date on it's progress.

Spalding Bulbs aren't really a fruit tree specialist and have a very limited number of apple varieties which are mainly the sort that can be grown on a patio. In my opinion, they don't really give as much information about the plants as I would have liked, for instance I had to email them to ask what rootstock the tree was growing on - an important consideration if you don't want a tree that will grow too big. Apparently it is grown on M26 rootstock which should be OK for container growing as the container will restrict the ultimate size. 

Since receiving the fruit tree I have been trying to find more information about the variety which is also known as Tickled Pink. One piece of important information that is missing from the description given by Spalding Bulbs is that the tree isn't self fertile and needs to be pollinated by another apple tree from the same pollination group. As I have two other varieties of apple tree in my garden and also two different crab apple trees I am hoping that this won't cause me any problem. Chances are that when growing an apple tree in a built up area there could well be suitable pollinators nearby anyway but I do think this information should be given when selling a fruit tree.

I'm not anticipating any fruit next year but maybe in a couple of years time I can update you on what the apples taste like. 

Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments author by S Garrett


  1. It is much smaller than the other trees you've shown recently. The trees I bought this year are somewhere between the two sizes of yours, and should have been the same price as this one, but as you know, I got a couple of them half price, so I think I did well. I'll enjoy following the progress of this one, it sounds an interesting variety.

    1. You did do well, Jo. Look forward to hearing how your trees fare as well

  2. I love freebies Sue and I think it is great when you actually manage to get something you don't already have in abundance. Shame about not being self pollinated but fingers crossed your other trees will do the trick. Can't wait for the updates...I have to say I have heard about the 'red' apples but always stuck to the type I am familiar with so it will be good to get some honest info on it.

    1. It's good to try something different without the risk of wasting your money Tanya. I am also intrigued as to how the tree grows.

  3. I want to try a red apple - sounds very intrguing. Great that you got it for free!

    1. I probably wouldn't have bought one, Liz as we have quite a few apples but seeing it as an option on the list was just too tempting

  4. I hope you have success with your new apple tree. The site Spalding is setting up looks interesting and I might look to join as well. By the way, your harvest in your last post looks great. I've never had much success with beetroot, suppose I should try again.

    1. I think we may have a bit of a wait for apples, Kelli but never mind.
      Look forward to seeing what you choose to review if you do join.

  5. Hello again, Sue. I'm not an apple grower so an interesting post for me - good luck with your new arrival! This post is a reminder too as Spalding contacted me a couple of times inviting me to join also but their emails came at the wrong time. Perhaps I'll get back to them now ;-)

    1. We'll be able to form our own mini Spalding Bloggers group Shirl. It's always difficult deciding which invitations to take up.


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