How do you grow walnuts?
Posted by Dobies Staff on 04 March 2014 11:27 am

This self-fertile variety of walnut will eventually grow into a very large tree ultimately reaching a height of 12m (39ft) with a spread of 9m (29ft). 

Young trees can be damaged by frost and they should be planted in a sheltered, open position in full sun. Any fertile well-drained soil is suitable except heavy chalk soils. Prepare the ground well digging in plenty of well-rotted manure or garden compost. Plant the tree at the same depth at which it was grown at the nursery, the soil level will be visible on the stem. Walnuts will not tolerate competition from weeds especially grasses such as couch. A weed free area of about 1.5m (5ft) should be maintained around the tree. The trees are slow to establish and should be watered regularly in dry spells. Each spring apply a mulch of well-rotted manure or garden compost to retain soil moist and suppress weed growth.

Walnut trees grow best with about 1.8m (6ft) of clear stem above soil level, as the tree develops remove branches below this height in stages over several seasons.  Little pruning is required other than removing crossing and damaged branches. Pruning is carried out when the tree is dormant in winter otherwise the wounds will bleed.

The tree will start to fruit in approximately four years from planting. The nuts are ready for harvesting during September and October. Nuts required for pickling should be picked in mid to late June when they have reached a good size and before the woody shell has developed. 

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