Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Spring is Springing

Plumcots finally! After two years wait it looks like we'll finally get some fruit from the Plumcot tree this year. Last year it looked like we had a decent crop until the all dropped off while they were still tiny. I believe its called 'fruit drop', remarkably, but i've got no idea why it happened. There won't be any jam from them this year but we'll get the chance to try the fruit from a tree which I bought on the strength of the picture on the label.

The dwarf peach tree produces fruit which in no way mirrors the splendor of its blooms.

The fig trees are just getting underway with remarkable speed although my grafts are looking worse and worse.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Blood Orange Surprise

After two years of bitter (or should I say sour) disappointment since the last crop of oranges from my potted Blood Orange, I was unexpectedly rewarded. Over the horrific and dismal winter, the tree struggled to produce fruit much larger than a golf ball. I became disinterested in Blood Orange husbandry and left the crop to fall to the ground and rot away. However, this afternoon I cut one open and was blown away by the depth of colour and shortly after that, the intense and developed flavor. I'm now sure that I picked the first crop too early and that was the reason they were more sour than a Warhead. There may be hope for growing Blood Oranges down south after all. The half wine barrel is definitely an insufficient vessel for the tree though and may go some way to explaining the biennial bearing. Time to get one in the ground I think.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Spring Fig Grafting

With spring finally dragging us out of the longest gloomiest winter I can remember, I'm feeling my gardening mojo returning and filling my fingernails with soil and grit once again. My two top gardening obsessions at the moment are apple trees and grafting. As his is the ideal time to graft most plants I'm out in the garden grafting anything to anything. I'm cutting my teeth on the fig tree in the front garden with a collection of scion wood that came from a family friend. They may take, they may not but its good practice for the apple grafting which is soon to follow.

This is a whip graft I did today before the wax goes on.It started out as a saddle graft but the cuts didn't sit together all that well and I saw the possibility for a repeat of the problem in the last photo.

These are my tools. I much prefer the professional grafting tape to cut strips from plastic bags as its not a big investment and has good elasticity to support the swelling of a successful graft. I use a stanley knife instead of a grafting knife because i'm sure they are just as sharp as a proper grafting knife and swapping to a new deadly blade is accomplished in seconds! Also pictured here, grafting wax and the all important tree labels.

Here's the Fig scion wood. They're so potent they've started rooting in the bucket. If there is time, I'll propagate the remaining ones as cuttings which is a no-brainer with figs

All does not bode well for my fig grafting attempts to date though. This is a saddle graft which is about three weeks old know and the scion wood is definitely showing signs of drying out.