Friday, September 30, 2011

Apple Grafting - Part I

After months of waiting its time for serious grafting action! 22 apple trees grafted onto m.26 rootstocks to be specific. All the grafts were done using the whip and tongue method after extensive practice on plum prunings. I waited till mid September on the advice that the closer to bud break the grafts were done, the higher the success rate. I could have waited a couple more weeks but it was close enough!

This is me working on the big daddy of the rootstocks I bought. Most of the other plants had reasonable root balls but nothing like this, this ones a frigging mop! It has been granted pride of place in my orchard and I can report that its graft (seen below) is doing well.

Grafting's just not grafting unless you draw some blood. After 22 incident free grafts, I managed to slice myself while cleaning the knife! Good knife though, sharp too.

Clockwise from top left: A mysterious and delicious cooking apple from Corryong yet to be formally named (14 trees), Crofton (2 trees), Calville Blanc D'hiver (2 trees), Bramley's seedling (3 trees).

The apple bed with its many apple trees that I don't know what I'm going to do with.

One of the Calville's showing a tiny bit of growth. # Update: Appears to have died #

The mop rootstock with its Corryong seedling graft.

Peace Rose

I've finally got around to stringing up the wire over the front porch for the climbing peace rose. Its original purpose was to support the Bougainvillea planted below the corner post but that plant has demonstrated a bad growing attitude and a general lack of vitality. The peace rose however may one day take over the house with its vigorousness. Here's a shot of its first flower this spring, I often find the first rose produced is the best of the season... weird.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tomato Peparation

It begins... again. After the dismal performance of last years crop, I was not highly motivated to grow tomatoes this year. But with the coming of the warm weather and the racks of seedlings on display at Bunnings, I am compelled to plant again. As usual I'm hunting around for a place where I haven't grown tomatoes before so that the soil isn't full of tomato viruses and anthrax etc. This bed next to the house has never been used and required days of digging and extracting cooch grass to get it into a fit state. Not too mention finding and excuse to use my new 9 inch angle grinder to get rid of some excess concrete!

This year my approach is a bit different. I'm not wasting tons of money on snooty San Marzano seedlings just because they ripen square so you can pack them into a box. I'm getting punnets of garden variety Roma and Grosse Lisse and rearing them on Powerfeed and Seasol in individual pots so they can develop strong roots. Hoping to have about twenty plants this year in two long beds.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011