Peachy advice from Cushnie

John Cushnie today gave his tips on growing nectarines and peaches under glass in The Daily Telegraph.

"Peach trees are fussy regarding soil," he says.

"They hate heavy wet ground, preferring a light, open, well-drained soil that remains moisture-retentive.

"Neutral to slightly acid soils are ideal; if the pH drops below 6.5 apply lime in autumn."

He suggests that peach trees do best in lots of farmyard manure but that nectarines are less difficult to grow than peaches.

Growing in a greenhouse cuts out the risk of frost damage but gardeners should take care not to stifle the plants if they have a heated house.

Both plants can be grown in a large container meaning they can be easily transported between greenhouse and garden as required so if a greenhouse is too warm, the plant can be given a breather outside.

The plants can suffer from red spider mite when grown under glass and, according to Mr Cushnie, a simple way to avoid this sis by regularly spraying them with water.

Finally, he gives tips for stopping earwigs destroying your fruit.

"They love to hide in rolled-up corrugated cardboard or in an upturned flower pot, loosely stuffed with straw, that has been placed on top of a bamboo cane," he suggests.

"Empty these traps daily."