Quince

Quinces are heady fruits; the leaves resemble apple leaves as do the pink blossom (except they are born singly) and the golden yellow, hard fruit are a bit pear-like, except that they are covered in soft down and give off an amazing perfume. Quinces can’t be eaten raw, they need stewing or baking, preferably long, slow cooking to bring out the flavour and the deep red hue.

Another hardy fruit well suited to our climate; you will often see them growing wild or in abandoned gardens.

MAIN TASKS:

Autumn – Harvest. Weeding and watering. Remove any rotten fruit and compost.

Winter – Give the tree a feed of compost. Prune now if needed (mainly dead, diseased or crossing branches) but generally the plants don’t need too much, encourage a vase like shape. Clean up and compost rotten fruit and leaves to avoid disease problems. Think about an application of biodynamic tree past of BD500.

Spring – Keep up the weeding. Mulch. Spray with seaweed. Codling moth can also affect quinces so when you put the pheremone traps in the apple trees and apply cardboard collar to the trunks, or sticky traps, do the same for the quince trees.

Summer – Continue weeding and watering and a spray of worm juice or seaweed. Pear and cherry slug can affect quinces so when you give the pears a dusting with woodash or diatomaceous earth, do the quinces as well.

Generally – Not much to growing these trees, enjoy their ornamental value as well. Don’t store the fruit with pears or apples. As with the pome fruit, their companion plants are said to be members of the allium family, as well as strong smelling herbs.

Eating – Baked with star anise, cinnamon and cardamon. Paste, jelly, jam,  stewed. Chutney. Crumble, tarts, upside down puddings.

3 thoughts on “Quince

    • janet barker says:

      My understanding is that quinces don’t need as much pruning as pears and apples, but they are pruned in the same fashion. I also think they bear on the tips of branches, rather than forming fruiting spurs along the length of a branch like pears or most apples.
      From memory of Simon Rickard’s talk, if you bought it as a whip (single stem) you’d prune the leader back to about 45- 60cm high, making sure you had 4-6 good spaced buds below the cut which can then become branches. Work from there to keep an open vase shape as the tree grows, pruning in the winter for growth and structure for the first 4 years and then reverting to summer pruning to encourage fruiting growth. It depends on what form/structure you are trying to achieve – a tree with a central leader, or espalier form, or a vase-shape….
      Check the page on apples, or google the Woodbridge Apples website for more clues. Growing Abundance folk may be also able to guide you?

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