Monday, October 31, 2011

Mop rootstock graft update

Sky potato development and tea rose

Spring Crawlers

Purple mulch monster

Aphid munching factory

Multi-eyeballed rose leaf spider

Apple mantis nymph playing up for the camera.

Another Mantis Nymph standing guard.

Sap-sucking Judases!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Native Bees and first signs of apples.

I'm hoping this isn't a premature announcement but its beginning to look like there will be an apple season this year. The three varieties planted last year (Crofton, Pomme De Neige and Summer Strawberry) are all sporting some of these swollen flower buds whose growth I will monitor obsessively. They all flowered together which is a big plus and after that its all up to the little guys like the one below.

Clearly I was less interesting than than the scented Summer Strawberry flower this native bee was stomping around on and probing with his proboscis. I had ample time to shove my lense in his face and take some really close macro shots. For once our Canon compact cooperated and agreed on the subject of the photo, auto-focus is infuriating in the 1-5cm range particularly with small fuzzy insects. Not sure what species he belongs to.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Apple Grafting, More Of

The mop rootstock receives an unfair level of care, attention and photography.

If you look closely you can see the whip and tongue graft under the grafting tape. When the graft was done the scion and rootstock wood was well aligned and pressed firmly against each other. A light coloured layer has appeared in the join which I assume is part of the formation of the graft.

Flowering continues.

This is my double grafted rootstock which will produce two of exactly the same apple on the same tree! Amazing eh.

I've never seen this before, its baby Preying Mantis season. This is the second one I've seen in the last few days lurking around in the apple blooms. I hope they like aphids and and are immune to pyrethrum but I'm probably asking too much.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Apple Graft Progress

No words to describe what a relief it was to see the first traces of green poking out from the buds of my apple grafts. That's ancient history now though as the grafts flourish in the Spring sun and rain and every day I can see new growth happening. Only one of the Calville Blanc's doesn't seem to have made it. After sending out the first shoots ahead of all the rest, they have turned brown and things don't look so good. So that's 21 out of 22 grafts or 95.45...% success rate!

This is one of the Bramley grafts outshining pretty much everything else. The scion wood came from the maiden whip of the Bramley tree I bought for my apple orchard. I assume the lack of flowers results from the scion wood being from the central leader as opposed to a fruiting spur. Not sure if I'm right or if one is better to graft with than any other. We'll see.

Here's my Corryong Seedling (as its temporarily called) on the mega mop rootstock and showing good progress. Like the picture below, flowers are developing which is odd but it will be interesting to see what the flowers look like. I'm not anticipating fruit from them quite yet and could only imagine it to create undue strain on the graft union.

Another Corryong Seedling graft with further developed flowers.

This is a Corryong Seedling from different scion wood which was a bit thicker and lighter in colour, also the buds were smaller and spaced further apart. No flowers are developing on this graft.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

First Roses

"Double DeeLite"