Bruce left me a bottle of his home brewed cider, the recipe, and the seeds to some “REAL BIG APPLES”, this week. We had a brief conversation about this stuff last week at the domain Christmas pot luck. I also found out there were 3 feral apple trees by the road just outside the domain! Anyway, he collected the seeds elsewhere (I have forgotten, but do remind me to ask him about it), and they were real big apples! I can only think of, Peasgood Nonsuch?

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Anyway, I did some research online and figured out how to grow apple tree from seed. Press seeds on top of moist tea towel in a plastic container, cover it and put it in the fridge, leave it for a few weeks until they sprouted. Indeed, they will sprout in the fridge! Then pot them up about half an inch to an inch deep. And they will pop out of the surface in another month. I did just that. This time next month, I shall provide an update.

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I’ll name this Apple Kaituna. It’s a medium size bush beside a wild rose bush. The shape of the apple is quite typical. Hopefully, I’ll be able to taste one when its ripe.

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And this is Apple Ataahua Alpha. This is round the bend by the Ataahua Domain. Oblong shape. Really old tree.

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Apple Ataahua Beta. This is near Alpha but further away from the Ataahua Domain. About the same size as Kaituna. The type is similar to Alpha. Most probably seed from the same parent.

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Hand me a lawnmower and I’ll show you what it can do. They are not designed to just mow the lawn. Gardening books would have told you to use them to mulch up prunings before you add them to the compost heap. As for me, I use it to return an overgrowth of wildflowers, weeds, lots of weeds, into flat land. Revealing, once again, the little feijoas, and the rootstocks. I also use it to cut paths into the wildflowers meadow which is now growing at about 1.5m high. A good modification though, would be larger wheels for higher ground clearance, which makes it easier to run things down.

I’ve just sharpened the lawnmower blades today. With just a hand file. You need no motorized grinder to get the job done.

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Indeed, the grafting were done just about exactly 2 months ago. None of the stonefruits grafting took. I would pin it down to poor scionwood. They were in the fridge for too long. On the other hand, all the apples have taken! I’m stoke!

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Little ladybird on the scion.

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All that clearing allowed me to expose the hedgerow plantings. All healthy.

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Ripe blueberries! And yummo! I’ve had some of the best tasting raspberries off the pot too!

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I was just eyeing up the golden with a red blush apricots the other day until the cows decided to have a munch over the fence! Boooo! In my protest, I will be eating plenty of beef steak in 2014!

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Well, at least there will be plenty of apples to go around to feed one tummy. And I’ll be eyeing this one, Golden Pippin.

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William bon Chretian is promising something. I’ll be having Doyenne du Comice and Nashi this season too. Yums!

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The tomatoes are starting to do their thing. I’ve sprinkled some crushed eggshells around them for some added Calcium.

I’ve also spiced up the fertigation tank (its actually a 20L Seasol container, what do you call it?), with comfrey leaf, seasol, and various other goodies.

The cherries on edabriz rootstocks are almost vigour-less. Leaf size are average, and shoot extension is minimal. Its like they have got a good shot of Payback. Is the dwarfing capability of edabriz that powerful? I’ll start foliar feeding them. Some VIP treatment.

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Purple is the theme. Like this tiny flowers.

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And this purple Californian poppy.

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That’s the Orchard Cottage this week. I have plenty of seedling rhubarb and globe artichoke to plant out sometime soon. I’ve just sow a tray of Rue too, I have a rough idea where they would go, but things can wait a bit.

I’ve discovered that from the cottage to the end of the valley is just 8km. Now, if I do a 16km run… Very interesting. I might need a hydration pack.

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