Grow a nut tree

Add crunch to your patch with sweet and tasty kernels

Hazelnut Tree

Hazelnut Tree

You may not have considered it before, but adding a nut tree to your garden is extremely worthwhile and will round off your fruit and vegetable patch nicely.

You have to watch out for their size, though, as most nut trees will need a lot of room to expand and grow into large specimens, which is great if you’ve got the room to accommodate sweet chestnuts or walnuts, to add a touch of maturity to your plot. All large trees – particularly nut trees – are a real boon for wildlife, too.

These days, though, most people have small to medium-sized gardens, limiting tree size, so what can be squeezed in?

Hazelnut trees will only ever grow to 3m (10ft) high, and many varieties can be smaller. They’ll even thrive happily in large containers.

Grow nuts in a sunny, sheltered spot, and try one or two varieties for better pollination. Add a fertiliser such as Growmore in late winter, as they’re growing, to encourage them on.

It seems obvious to say, but be on the lookout for squirrels! They’ll relish your nut hoards to ‘squirrel’ away for themselves, and can significantly deplete a tree’s bounty. You’ll simply have to watch out for them and shoo them away when you can, or pick unripe nuts to pickle before the squirrels can get hold of them. It’s nice to share too, though!

A useful tip is to keep your nut cases. Crunched up they’re extremely effective as mulch material, and can be a good slug and snail deterrent, too.