Edible garden: Plums

The small, blue-black, pale-fleshed Damson is ideal for jam, preserves. Photo / NZ Herald
The small, blue-black, pale-fleshed Damson is ideal for jam, preserves. Photo / NZ Herald

How to grow it:

Summer holidays are synonymous with plum season.

Most plum varieties stem from two species, Prunus domestica and P salicina.

These are hardy and tolerate a range of soils.

The latter, also known as the European plum, is smaller with green-yellow skin, and better suited to the south of the country, as it requires longer cold temperatures for fruit set.

A European plum revered for its flavour is the greengage. Japanese plums (P. salicina) are the most productive in warmer regions.

They are usually red-skinned with red or yellow flesh.

A lovely home garden variety, which my grandmother has, is Sultan.

This is a small tree with large, dark red-fleshed, juicy fruit.

It is a good all-rounder.

For an excellent plum selection including heirlooms see: ediblegarden.co.nz

In the kitchen:

The small, blue-black, pale-fleshed Damson is beautiful, but super sour; ideal for jam, preserves.

Bake firm-fleshed plums halved and with other stone fruit.

Serve drizzled with honey and a dollop of creme fraiche.

- Herald on Sunday

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