This section is from the book "Commercial Gardening Vol3", by John Weathers (the Editor). Also available from Amazon: Commercial Gardening, A Practical & Scientific Treatise For Market Gardeners.
This valuable market apple is degraded to the culinary class by Mr. Wise; Mr. Bunyard, however, gives it a seat in the upper house. It is said that the name "Pearmain " is a contraction of Pyrus magnus, and has come to be applied to all pear-shaped apples. This variety is admirably suited for planting where it is desired to have alternate rows of Apples and Plums, because its compact upright habit will allow of both rows having plenty of room if the Plum is of the moderate habit of the Victoria. No other dessert apple possesses so many of the characteristics desirable in a market apple. It will crop and colour in almost any soil, it will stand gathering before it is ripe, stand a long journey, and come to maturity off the tree. Everybody knows it, and all who know it ask for it. No plantation of fruit should be without it. Its season is the beginning of September for first gathering and mid-September for clearing.
BUSH APPLE TREES.
Here is the monarch of all English Apples. It is recorded of the late Mr. Thos. Rivers, that once at a fruit show he was asked by a distinguished statesman to name the twelve best Apples. " Well," said Mr. Rivers, " for the first three I should plant-Cox's Orange. "And for the next three?" "Well, for the next three I should plant three more Cox's Orange." "And for the next three?" "I should plant three more Cox's Orange." "And for the last three?" A little hesitation, then, " Why, I should plant another three Cox's."
It is doubtful whether there is any other fruit, not excepting the lordly Pineapple, that can compare in deliciousness of flavour with a well - grown, properly ripened English Cox's Orange. But, alas! the range of soils in which it will dispense its favours freely is very limited, and the commonest cooker that will crop is more valuable to the market grower than the Cox's Orange that will not. It is of no use planting it in strong loamy soils, even on the Paradise. In such it will grow vigorously, but of apples there will be a crop about once in ten years, and then the apples will have rough skins and be wanting in colour. On the other hand, it will crop freely in gravel soils where hardly any other fruit tree will live, and in such or any warm soil will bring fruit of splendid colour. From some hot gravelly soil in Essex, in 1909, Cox's Orange Pippins were sold at 3s. 6d. per dozen off" bush trees on the Paradise, only planted two years, and there was a heavy crop of them. This apple pays for keeping a few weeks after gathering. The fruit should be looked over twice or thrice a week, and those that ripen should be picked out for packing, and also any that show signs of " speck ". The time for gathering is Michaelmas. (See the plate.)