Wednesday , November 14 2018


Quinces are fruits grown mainly in temperate areas because they require a chilling period of 100-450 hours below 7 Celsius degrees (45 F) in order to flower. The fruits are apple or pear-shaped and are covered with grayish-white down. In a small garden you can train them as fans or grow them as a bush and this way they will reach up to 3.4-5 m height.

They require a moisture-retentive, slightly acidic soil and a place in reasonably sunny, sheltered placed. A perfect place will be near a wall, especially in cold regions, where the wall will provide some protection from hard frosts. If you have bare-root quinces plant them in autumn or in winter, or if they are container-grown you can plant them throughout the year. Space them approximately 4-4.5 m apart. Even generally quinces are self-fertile it is best to have some quinces around to improve pollination and cropping levels.

Once established, quinces need little attention. In poor soils, occasional feeding, watering and mulching may be necessary to improve the quince development. On established trees pruning is also minimal. Occasional thinning in winter of old and overcrowded growth may be necessary but bushes may be left to grow into multi-stemmed trees. You can prune and train the bush in the early stages as for apple bushes with an open-centered, well-spaced branch framework. When pruning, remember that quinces fruit on spurs and on the tips of the previous summer growth.

Pick the fruits when their skins have turned from green to gold, usually this is happening in late autumn. Store the fruits in boxes in a cool, well-ventilated, dark place. Do not store them close to other fruits because there is a risk of contaminating them with their strong aroma. Do not wrap the quinces because if they are stored in plastic bags they will discolor internally. You can also use them in preserves. They make a delicious jelly.

Propagate quince trees by chip-budding onto “Quince A” rootstocks in summer or by taking hardwood cuttings in autumn. “Quince A” is normally used as a rootstock but where trees are grown on their own roots, suckering may be difficult to control.

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