Fruitless efforts by other growers have prompted experimental spacing and pollinating of various Asian and American plum hybrids. The most recent discovery comes from an article written by Professor W.H. Alderman from the University of Minnesota. He states, “Very few hybrid plums will accept pollen freely from other hybrids, but they all accept pollen from native plums.”
Our plum distributor, Fedco Seeds and Trees, make claim “this is the breakthrough we’ve all been searching for.” Fedco growers recommend planting hybrid plums in clusters with native plums, three to six feet apart, so branches intertwine and co-mingle. Fedco offers over a dozen varieties. No personal space needed for plums, although they will still need pruned to allow for ample air flow. Select a well-drained site with lots of sunshine for the plum blooms. If the plum curculio, a small insect pest, becomes a problem, try an organic control by spraying “Surround”, a powdery coating that protects the leaves from insect damage. With decent pollinators nearby, “Surround” may not be needed.
The boys are excited to try this clustering experiment with hopes of sinking their teeth into juicy treats for years to come.