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Growing on chalk

Posted: Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:28 am
by brighton bloke
Hi. I have 5 x 45 degree cordons facing east on the south coast. 3 pears (conference, williams and comice) have given me tasty fruit for years. I replaced the 2 original apples (cox and james grieve) as they were so badly infected with scab from a, now removed, neighbour's ancient apple with (I think) Charles Ross, which have only ever given me conker sized fruit. I want to try a final one final time, and in taking them out, surprisingly easy with minimal roots, I dug a little deeper and discovered that there is solid chalk below 18".
1) I can dig out the chalk to about 2 foot, and space/wall would allow me to extend it to about 2 foot in width, would this be sufficient to give them a better base for roots?
2) I can improve the soil, so would I need M9 or M26 rootock?
Thanks for any advice