damson fruit hanging on tree

Damson Growing and Planting Guide for Gardeners

Damsons are fruit trees that aren’t that big, look good, are low-maintenance, and provide a good harvest. They are also useful in the kitchen, they make delicious preserves and pies. So this is a guide to growing damson.

Damsons in basket

Growing Your Own Damson

Damsons can adapt to any type of soil, they can cope with heavy clay too. However, make sure to improve your sandy or gravelly soil with organic matter before planting.

The location where you grow them needs to be protected from strong winds and bad frosts. Damsons enjoy protection from a hedge or a tree too if your garden is exposed.  A Damson can grow 10ft – 15ft. However, the Shropshire Prune variety can grow 8ft – 10ft. They are self-fertile and you can grow only one of its kind. Damsons help with the pollination of other plum trees and grow more crops when they’re cross-pollinated.

Damson Varieties

There are a variety of Damsons. The Farleigh Damson is frost-resistant. The Merryweather Damson provides larger fruits that are sweet enough to be eaten raw. 

How to Prune a Damson

Damsons only need a little pruning, only dead, diseased, and crossing branches should be removed. You can prune when you’re picking its fruits in late spring or early autumn. Don’t try to prune them during the winter or they might become infected with silver leaf fungus.

How to Preserve Your Harvest

Damsons tend to soften and rot once they’re picked from the tree. You can make pies, jams, jellies, chutneys and cheese. The fruit also combines well with apples.

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