Drought in Winter? That’s how it feels like. On the MetService 3 day forecast, I noted potential rainfall that seems promising either diminished into nothing or just past us by… Where’s the rain? I had a feeling its going to be a wet Spring, contrary to what the experts say. That’s fine, it will help my newly planted trees establish themselves without much artificial precipitation.

Robyn from SCES responded last week that she could provide me with scionwood for Rhode Island Greening, its a 1650 apple cultivar, I jumped onto it. Then, a string of email was sent out to all my regular plant suppliers in NZ for mm106 apple rootstock. It’s the wrong time of the year to obtain rootstock as most nursery would have fulfilled all the rootstock orders by now. Lucky me, Grant from Thunder Mountain is able to supply me with 5 of them, which arrives with the apple trees that I ordered from him, Fuero Rous, Royal Wilding and Sommerset Red Streak. And that, completed my cider hexagon. By the way, if you are looking for last minute rootstock, Gail from Koanga might still have some m793 available.

Camera 360

Yesterday was pretty much a planting day. Orders from Diacks Nursery arrived, which I was really excited and looking forward to. Cherry Lapin on Edabriz interstem, a pair of kiwiberry, Black Currant Laxtons Tinker, Red Currant Giant Ruby, White Currant, Raspberry Ebony, Raspberry Kaituna, and Raspberry Tulameen.

Camera 360

The cherry is promptly planted, and espaliered. It came with a set of wonderfully set out limbs at just the right height to form the first tiered. I also bend it over at the top to form the final tier. I did something which orchardists called notching, to induced the plant to shoot out at desired spot. A chainsaw file, and some pruning paste does the job.

Camera 360

This is the pair of kiwiberry, Actinidia arguta, also known as hardy kiwi. I’m going to grow this up the South side fence in the duck area. I am also looking for a red variety to add to the mix. I’ve emailed Koanga about it, and I hope they would be able to supply me with just a red variety, instead of making me buy their bundle of 4 for $100.

Camera 360

I’m not sure if this will work. Growing suckering raspberries and trailing boysenberry in pots. On the plus side, both Kaituna and Tulameen variety are virtually thornless, which is a boon even to go directly in the ground as their suckers would not be a thorny pain in the bum. There’s also the Raspberry Ebony, which is a black, thornless raspberry, which does not sucker. It’s got a PVR on it, but I am quite keen to propagate it and have it go around the forest garden, however, it does not sucker… That means that I will have to wait until the plant is well established before I could dig up the crown and divide it, hence, I’ve got 2 plants in the garden, double the efficiency.

Camera 360

Currants are now lining up the North side fence, in between the stonefruits. I am quite keen to propage these as well, and they can go all over the forest garden and the South side fence to form a hedgerow.

Camera 360

Apple mm106 rootstock and plum Marianna rootstock. And I read about some tips in this book Plants for Free by Andrew Maloy. Bury the whole plant in moist sawdust, leaving only the church window of the graft exposed. Reason being, warm humid environment allows for rapid healing. Hence, the combi guard comes into play. Do the grafting, put the combi guard back in place, and load it up with moist sawdust, and the combi guard will hold the moist sawdust in place. Brilliance~ I’ve also asked for Cox Orange Pippin scionwood, its regarded as one of the finest apple available, I’m keen. Some grafting idea… Double grafted Cox Orange Pippin and Mother, probably 2 of the best tasting apple. Quad grafted Monty’s Surprise, Hetlina, Tropicana, and Fuero Rous, health enhancing apples. Finally, multi grafted Fuero Rous, Calville Blanc D Hiver, Golden Reinette, Royal Wilding, Sommerset Red Streak, Golden Pippin, Rhode Island Greening, Gravenstein, Devonshire Quarrenden, and Ribston Pippin, this will make up an ancient pre-1700 gene bank. I have also emailed Dieter for the scionwood of Rota Eiserapfel, hopefully he could supply me with it, and that will pretty much complete all the known pre-1700 cultivar in NZ.

Camera 360

 

What else do you expect of an eccentric gardener? Sometimes, misunderstood as a hippy, but is a true capitalist beneath all that dirt and borderline sanity. I planted bulbs underneath my fruit trees. Because flower bulbs, like tulips are pricey, and if I start shopping, it will be a spree, I decided, why not plant garlic bulbs underneath the fruit trees instead? I am not going to harvest them for consumption, they can stay in the ground, divide and multiply, something like a food bank, the Orchard Cottage Garlic Bank! Now, that’s a brilliant idea.

Camera 360

Wait a minute! You plant garlic by the cloves, harvest the formed bulbs, divide them into cloves, and plant them again, that’s how you do it! However, I discovered this unharvested bulb in another patch, sprouted and all the stuff, and transplanted them to this side of the house from the other, and its doing fine. I guess I will be alright, the Garlic Bank is in business.

Camera 360

I took some cuttings of Elderflower from the Kaituna Church too. Or was it a chapel? What’s the difference? Anyway, once they have took, they can go and form the roadside hedgerow with the Privets. Elderberry Adam and Nova is already in there.

Camera 360

Apricots Gold Bar and Gold Strike, swollen bud, ready to burst. Not sure if these are the first to flower or the plums are the first. That just reminds me to check the road side plum rootstock that I will be doing some guerrilla grafting.

Camera 360

 

Good news at the propagator house! Everything has germinated except for the peppers, as usual, takes some time for that to come up in 2 to 3 weeks. Now, some updates about Tomaccio. Apparently it wasn’t a F1 hybrid as mentioned on Egmont’s catalog, naughty naughty. I did some search around for a F2, and stumbled upon a seed saver on TradeMe who has been growing them and saving the seeds for 2 years, and they grow true to seed. It has also been grown outside of NZ for a couple of years, and been listed as heirloom. This variety is about 12 years old. Anyway, I’ve got 3 batches of seed to trial now, the Egmont variety, the TradeMe variety, and another from a LSB member. I’ll have to figure out the configuration of my tomato experiment, which is to trial Tomaccio true-to-seed-ness, and different rootstocks.

Camera 360

Is this a spot? Double colored. Its rotting though… This is a Austin. Never thought I would see a spot in my own garden. Spot or sport?

Come again next week and I will tell you the Orchard Cottage Capitalism Plan.

 

Advertisements