For the successful cherry growing the soil must be light and well drained. Gardens on sand or chalk will give the best results, but a heavy loam can be made quite suitable if it is very deeply dug prior to planting and some system of drainage adopted. A heavy clay soil cannot, however, be brought into a suitable condition for cherries though a medium clay over a light sub-soil such as gravel often produces heavy crops of good quality fruit.
The sweet cherries require as much sun as possible, but sour cherries, particularly the Morello, can be grown successfully on a north wall.
The remarks on liming made under the heading of plums also applies to cherry growing. Lime is required for successful stoning, and other fertilizers needed are basic slag in autumn or superphosphate and muriate of potash in the spring, unless the trees are not growing freely. Then a balanced fertilizer, such as the 1:3:1 mixture described elsewhere, would be more suitable, applied at the rate of 4 oz. Per square yard.
Cherries, too, have a special root stock on to which good varieties are grafted. This is the Gean, Prunus avium. Others formerly used are no longer considered worth while, so intending planters are advised to make sure that they obtain cherries grafted on the Gean.
Cherries are most frequently grown as standards, although bushes can be had. They are very beautiful trees when laden with their white blossom and could very effectively be made part of the ornamental flower garden. They will grow well as specimens in the lawn, for cherries are one of the best fruit trees for planting in grass. A small grass orchard of chbrries is another idea that can be added to the garden as a feature. A vacant corner of the plot can be turned into an attractive part of the garden scheme.
A wall or fence can be covered with a trained cherry tree. On north walls Morello cherries- will grow well, but on a south or west wall sweet cherries can be grown.
Varieties of Cherry To Grow
Sweet cherries : Black Heart, early July. Frogmore Early, early July ; large, pale yellow, mottled with red. Early Rivers, end June ; large, glossy black. Bigarreau Schrecken, June ; a very early black. Governor Wood, early July ; large, yellow and red variety. Napoleon, white. Waterloo, large, deep black, red flesh of good flavour. Sour cherries : Morello, large, round, dark red, deepening to purple when ripe. Kentish Red, end of July ; acid, red. Duke cherries : May Duke, June ; agreeable acid flavour.
Pollination of Cherries
Cherry growing, as far as the setting of fruit is concerned, is even more complex than plum, as in addition to many varieties being self-sterile (not setting fruit with their own pollen) there are many that will not cross pollinate either with certain varieties.
Much experimental work has been carried out and results enable the experts to advise on suitable varieties to grow ‘in the gardens. The results are too extensive to give here, but the following are a few of the successful combinations :—
Black Heart + Early Rivers or Big-arreau Frogmore..
Governor Wood, or Waterloo.
Governor Wood + Emperor Francis, or Big. Frogmore.
Big. Frogmore, Big. Napoleon and Big. Schrecken appear to pollinate numerous varieties.
Three self-fertile varieties are Morello, Late Duke and Flemish Red.
Order of ripening. Eaily Rivers, mid-June ; Governor Wood, ‘end of June ; Knight’s Early Black, early June ; Black Heart, mid-July ; Kent Bigarreau, end of July ; Big. Napoleon, early August.