Whether you’re looking to grow your community groups, improve fruit tree health or just produce more fruit, we have lots of advice and tips for you here. Many thanks to the amazing experts who have helped to develop this urban fruit growing knowledge bank.
Primary School Activities
These resources were developed as part of a one year school orchard project. They are written to support schools with orchards to use their orchards for outdoor learning.
Primary School Lesson Plans
We love teaching children about all the exciting things you can learn from an orchard. Here are some of the lesson plans we’ve developed for key stage 2.
Benefits of orchards and fruit growing
If you love orchards and the delicious fruit within them as much as we do, you may have never seriously asked yourself why we should plant and nurture orchards but it turns out there are lots of great reasons justifying orchards should you ever encounter an unbeliever.
Planning and designing an orchard
Once your trees are in the ground, they may be there for another century so careful planning is needed!
Involving the community in your orchard
From Apple Days to sunny picnics to midwinter pruning parties – there are lots of ways to involve the local community in your new Community Orchard.
Planting your orchard
What could be more exciting than planting an orchard for generations to enjoy? Our guide will make sure your trees are cosseted and your event a success.
Our research suggests that tree fruit is a low-risk food to grow in urban areas but we have compiled a very useful factsheet with more information.
Growing fruit in containers
Whether we are short on space or good, clean soil to plant in, containers can be a great way to grow fruit.
How to Graft Fruit Trees
They don’t call it hard graft for nothing but once you get the knack of it, you can start your own mini nursery of fruit trees all of which will have the same desirable qualities that their parents have.
Flowering and pollination
Most apples, pears and plums are, in the main, not self-fertile. This means that in order to produce fruit, these trees need to be planted close to one or more suitable varieties in flower at the same time.
Pruning apple trees
There are lots of ways to shape fruit trees depending on the priorities of the grower and the space available but pruning is not just about pretty forms. Pruning can help trees to fight off infections by allowing for good ventilation and should encourage your trees to produce more fruit.
Restoration of old orchards
Since 2011 the Urban Orchard Project has been working with communities to restore old, neglected orchards through programmes of educational sessions on restoration pruning.
Pests and diseases
How to avoid problems from pests and diseases and, if the worst happens, what to do next…
How to celebrate our orchard heritage
The seasons give us many reasons to celebrate. From picnics under blossom, to harvest festivals and apple days through to wassailing in the depths of winter, orchards are a great excuse for a party.
Recipes to use up a glut of delicious fruit
We’ve got some of the team’s top secret recipes to help you deal with that most glorious of all problems, the fruit glut!
The orchard year: spring
Spring in the orchard is a lovely time. If the weather is good, the trees will wake from their dormant period and their buds will swell and open.
The orchard year: summer
Long days filled with watering and the pleasurable sight of fruits growing before your eyes, followed by warm evenings with perhaps a glass of cider…
The orchard year: autumn
It’s harvest time, so reap the rewards of the fruits of your labour! The mature trees should be laden with fruit so go prepared with bags and hungry friends.
The orchard year: winter
While ordinary gardeners may be spending more time looking at seed catalogues than being out in the fresh air, this is one of the busiest times of the year for us orchardists.