Gardening

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Re: Gardening

Postby karlrand » 31 Jan 2020, 19:48

HBS Guy wrote:Some nice rain here, with donder en bliksem, also rain in Tassie, yes!

Not here yet. My springler’s still running.
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 01 Feb 2020, 13:02

I dunno HM my place got, 2mm after 9.00am today. If we got decent rain I could get rotary hoeing & gypsum spreading done now, give it a bit more time to work until Sep.
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 10 Feb 2020, 06:55

How do apple trees (or peach etc) “know” when winter is over? That is something I wondered about.

Apparently when days get longer the tree creates a hormone that starts leaves sending its essential nutrients down to the tree roots and the tree to enter dormancy. Winter cold gradually destroys the hormone and the tree grows the buds that become flowers and causes the buds to open. Leaves always form later than flowers as I notices in the fruit trees here. Flower buds are made in fall ready for spring.

There is info here re pruning: if you want to prune to control the size of a fruit tree do it in summer. Winter pruning, when the roots are full of the energy stored there in the fall sees vigorous growth replacing what you pruned. Prune for size in summer and no vigorous regrowth happens. Prune for shape in winter when the structure of the branches is easy to see. Prune dead or weak growth, prune where branches cross, prune to remove twigs or branches growing into the centre of the tree.

To keep trees small enough that you can spray, pick & prune with both feet firmly on the ground: plant the tree in Sep, prune it to a stick 45cm high. Scaffold branches then form no higher than 45cm. This only works with trees 2cm or less in diameter. With soft fruit like peaches you might need to leave a “nursery branch” until buds low on the trunk set leaves etc.
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Re: Gardening

Postby karlrand » 10 Feb 2020, 07:40

HBS Guy wrote:How do apple trees (or peach etc) “know” when winter is over? That is something I wondered about.

Apparently when days get longer the tree creates a hormone that starts leaves sending its essential nutrients down to the tree roots and the tree to enter dormancy. Winter cold gradually destroys the hormone and the tree grows the buds that become flowers and causes the buds to open. Leaves always form later than flowers as I notices in the fruit trees here. Flower buds are made in fall ready for spring.

There is info here re pruning: if you want to prune to control the size of a fruit tree do it in summer. Winter pruning, when the roots are full of the energy stored there in the fall sees vigorous growth replacing what you pruned. Prune for size in summer and no vigorous regrowth happens. Prune for shape in winter when the structure of the branches is easy to see. Prune dead or weak growth, prune where branches cross, prune to remove twigs or branches growing into the centre of the tree.

To keep trees small enough that you can spray, pick & prune with both feet firmly on the ground: plant the tree in Sep, prune it to a stick 45cm high. Scaffold branches then form no higher than 45cm. This only works with trees 2cm or less in diameter. With soft fruit like peaches you might need to leave a “nursery branch” until buds low on the trunk set leaves etc.

Oh dear, how I wish my gardening was that disciplined. Confronted with a disintegrating, geriatric anatomy and a peculiar notion that none of my trees, annuals etc have read the references I’m often very slack.
What strikes me here are the variations in plant behaviour year to year. Some years, if I don’t do anything about it ( I dare not use the term ‘spray’ fearing a lecture from organic purists) the quince trees, plums etc aren't attacked by sawfly larvae. This year I missed spraying (calm down kiddies, only pyrethrum) due to a long struggle removing a huge 180 year old hawthorn tree blown over by a willie-willie. (willy-willy?) The quince trees were savaged loosing 50% of their leaf surface. However the crop is still going to be huge. So, despite mother natures efforts and thanks to my quince trees not reading the references this will be another bumper season for making quince liqueur.
(Recipe provided upon email request)
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 10 Feb 2020, 13:15

Well, I like reading and wanted to read about apple trees. . .so lots reading, some of it wrong, some of it misleading I think I have some idea now.

Have a nice little orchard in the making: 5 Yarlington Mill and 5 Dabinet cider trees, both vintage varieties making excellent single variety cider.

Then three King David, spicy and tart, great to eat, juice and make a dry cider from.

Three Golden Harvey, sweet, good to eat, juice and makes a strong sweet cider—nickname is Brandy Apple because it has so much sugar it makes a strong cider.

Then a Court Pendu Plat, maybe not exactly the apple the Romans introduced from Asia Minor (or wherever) but mentioned as long ago as 1400AD in some English text. It is aromatic, adds some apple character to a cider. Good to eat, good to add a small amount to a cider crush. Also a Cox Orange Pippin, the perfect dessert apple.

Along the big pergola, Sturmer Pippin, nice a and tart, Granny Smith closest to the house because it needs minimum chill, Bramleys Seedling, the UK’s preferred cooking apple and a crabapple (need a new one, the one planted last Oct died) John Downie for perfect crabapple jelly. I bought 10m muslin (at $9/metre OUCH!) and will buy another 10m, just to strain jellies.

I have a Brown Snout and an Improved Foxwhelp that didn’t fit into my planting plan anymore. So will buy a Sweet Coppin cider apple (and good pollinator) and a Golden Hornet crab apple (good for pectin jelly to add to jams etc) and plant them close together so root competition will keep the trees small.

Five great eating pears, mostly European but also the Australian Packham’s Triumph, including two Beurre Bosc, one to eat, one to use in perry, and four each of Moorcroft and Gin perry pears, semi dwarfing, planted 3.5m apart. The third pear row is short and I am going to remove two Green Horse perry pears and not buy any Yellow Horse.

Add pinot noir wine grapes next year. Plus 4 sweet cherries and one sour one and 3 pear trees.
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Re: Gardening

Postby karlrand » 10 Feb 2020, 14:03

HBS Guy wrote:Well, I like reading and wanted to read about apple trees. . .so lots reading, some of it wrong, some of it misleading I think I have some idea now.

Have a nice little orchard in the making: 5 Yarlington Mill and 5 Dabinet cider trees, both vintage varieties making excellent single variety cider.

Then three King David, spicy and tart, great to eat, juice and make a dry cider from.

Three Golden Harvey, sweet, good to eat, juice and makes a strong sweet cider—nickname is Brandy Apple because it has so much sugar it makes a strong cider.

Then a Court Pendu Plat, maybe not exactly the apple the Romans introduced from Asia Minor (or wherever) but mentioned as long ago as 1400AD in some English text. It is aromatic, adds some apple character to a cider. Good to eat, good to add a small amount to a cider crush. Also a Cox Orange Pippin, the perfect dessert apple.

Along the big pergola, Sturmer Pippin, nice a and tart, Granny Smith closest to the house because it needs minimum chill, Bramleys Seedling, the UK’s preferred cooking apple and a crabapple (need a new one, the one planted last Oct died) John Downie for perfect crabapple jelly. I bought 10m muslin (at $9/metre OUCH!) and will buy another 10m, just to strain jellies.

I have a Brown Snout and an Improved Foxwhelp that didn’t fit into my planting plan anymore. So will buy a Sweet Coppin cider apple (and good pollinator) and a Golden Hornet crab apple (good for pectin jelly to add to jams etc) and plant them close together so root competition will keep the trees small.

Five great eating pears, mostly European but also the Australian Packham’s Triumph, including two Beurre Bosc, one to eat, one to use in perry, and four each of Moorcroft and Gin perry pears, semi dwarfing, planted 3.5m apart. The third pear row is short and I am going to remove two Green Horse perry pears and not buy any Yellow Horse.

Add pinot noir wine grapes next year. Plus 4 sweet cherries and one sour one and 3 pear trees.

Heritage apples are are blessed with some very weird names. How the hell did Foxwhelp get it’s name?
You’ve made me very thirsty with all that cider talk !

I’m not one for crab apple jelly. Not worth the trouble to my mind. Quince jelly, which we make every year, is another story as is quince liqueur - the later being rocket fuel.
I’ve also made Hawthorn Berry liqueur (used as a heart medication in the Middle Ages) . A long tedious process taking three years till ready but delicious. People have been guessing what’s the secret flavouring in Darmbuie is for decades. I’m sure after tasting Hawthorn Berry liqueur that’s it. A kind of chocolate taste.
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 10 Feb 2020, 14:36

Yeah, I love reading about all that stuff. Foxwhelp was a seedling found growing very close to a fox earth, Yarlington Mill near a mill.

Moorcroft perry pear was also called Stinking Bishop: not after a bishop but an unpleasant person called Bishop.

The synonym 'Stinking Bishop' refers to Frederick[5] (or Percy)[3] Bishop, who owned Moorcroft Farm in the early 1800s and was presumably the cultivar's breeder.[3] Bishop allegedly had an ugly temperament. In a 2005 American National Public Radio interview, Charles Martell, the maker of Stinking Bishop cheese, related a story that Bishop got angry at his kettle one day for not heating fast enough and in retaliation shot it. This story, although apocryphal, illustrates the sort of behaviour which earned Bishop his reputation for irascibility.[6]


—wiki
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 14 Feb 2020, 11:53

Phew! Been working out what trees to buy and plant this year.

Nineteen trees costing $818.

Only trouble is, doubt I can get them all planted in two weeks AND work on where the vines are to go next year AND install an irrigation system. I have to move nine existing cider apple trees for starters. Digging in my heavy soil is neither easy nor quick. Oh how I would LOVE to spend a month there!
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 16 Feb 2020, 11:48

Spreadsheets suck: Not 19 trees but 31!

I have decided to move one of my Sturmer Pippin apples to the cider apple area, then plant the Cox Orange Pippin I will order in April where the Sturmer Pippin apple was to ensure better pollination of the Golden Harvey apple trees. Might buy a Calville blanc d’Hiver, dual purpose culinary/cider apple (tarte tatins) instead of a third King David (same spicy-sharp flavor profile) again to improve pollination in the Golden Harvey trees.

Probably massively overthinking this: I am buying four crabapple trees:

1. Two to plant out front
1.1. Chonosuki Crab—decorative, good pollinator tho. The small fruits will be left for birds and possums to eat.

1.2. Ranelagh crab
Image

2. Two to plant in the back:
2.1. John Downie—to replace the one that died, the only one of my apple trees failing to survive.

2.2. Golden Hornet to plant with the Improved Foxwhelp and Brown Snout that I have but have no room in the apple cider area for and a Sweet Coppin cider apple I will buy—a good pollinator for cider apples. Going to mill and crush the fruit of these trees as one batch: a tart, a sweet, a bittersharp and a bittersweet. Might be interesting to collect the seeds from the four trees and plant them, see if a viable new variety comes out of this :bgrin

Anyway, the four crabapples will likely pollinate every fucking apple tree I have and all apple trees in a 50 mile radius :rofl :rofl :rofl :rofl :rofl


The four trees will be planted in the same hole, about 50mm/18" apart, pruned/trained to grow away from each other and the centre kept clear of branches and root competition will keep all four trees small and any tree that does not follow that agenda will feel the wrath of my loppers and pruning saw!
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 16 Feb 2020, 19:06

Hmmm put the Court Pendu Plat with the Brown Snout, Golden Hornet and Improved Foxwhelp.

Move one Sturmer Pippin and instead of another King David buy a Calville Blanc d’Hiver, a French culinary apple also used in cider, similar tart-spicy flavor as King David. Phew! The Cox Orange Pippin should be on the pergola so, in season, I can stretch out an arm and pick the best eating apple there is to complete my breakfast.
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 17 Feb 2020, 08:54

Hehehehe told you I was massively overthinking this. In my mad way I thought “I could cut branches of flowering {pollinating variety} and hang it in the tree next to the one i want to pollinate. Well, reading the Uni of Colorado website (TOLD you I was massively overthinking this!) I saw:

Bouquets also may be used by placing branches of open, fresh blossoms of a pollinating variety in buckets of water and hanging them in the trees.


so I am not alone in my madness!

I also looked up pollinating distances: Yup, my crabapples on the front fence can easily pollinate my cider apples: a distance of 50' recommended by Stark nurseries but UCo recommends 60–120' for pollinators and 120' is about how deep my block is (39.96m from memory.) Yup, orchardists grow crab apples with their regular apples for pollination purposes.

Less than 2 months and the purchase orders have to be placed and I can stop obsessing. I obsess because I will be 73 next birthday and can’t wait to find out years down the track a tree is not suitable. I discarded the idea of planting a McIntosh which I was looking forward to eating and adding to cider crushes—needs more chill hours than my area has got and while for a while frosts will keep it going AGW will eventually make setting of the fruit problematic. I might plant it with other dwarf heritage/rare trees where it won’t matter too much if it eventually stops producing.
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 17 Feb 2020, 09:22

Re the McIntosh:

Summer average maximum temperatures: Cool ( 20C - 24C / 68F - 75F) Cold (< 20C / 67F)


Summers in Tasmania are warming, have a bit hotter than usual summer and bugger all fruit set.
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 17 Feb 2020, 14:14

Gone through my whole present/future trees—all fine for pollination except Improved Foxwhelp, might decide “Buggerit” and buy another nice late eat/juice/cider apple, maybe a McIntosh!

Heh, tried to find some nice tables of apple/cherry/peach varieties and chill hours. Nope. Did see one YouTube where a guy in the fall manually stripped leaves from his peach tree (24 minutes) because the leaves prevented frost on the ground. I was thinking of shading the trees during winter! I doubt I need to do anything like that.

Did find out my Napoleon cherry is not a pollinator, some genetics thing but with Stella at one end and Kentish Sour on the other end of the row of cherry trees pollination is not a problem.

mothra might find all this interesting as a study in obsession/COB! :rofl :rofl :rofl
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 19 Feb 2020, 08:27

Now I read Brown Snout has “dessert wine qualities” but also needs humungous chill hours! Why is this information provided with a bit more detail? I have asked that nursery for some specifics—they are good at responding with facts and figures quite quickly even on weekends. This is extremely rare with Australian businesses.
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 19 Feb 2020, 08:40

HAHAHAHAHA bastards! After scaring the shit out of me they say Brown Snout needs 600-odd chill hours where my block has over 800 chill hours! Probably not an apple I can’t grow.
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 19 Feb 2020, 09:54

Decided to buy another Brown Snout instead of a Yarlington Mill. Apparently the Yarlington Mills can be a bit bland. Brown Snout is also a regular cropper, not a feast then famine like Yarlington Mill and Dabinett can be. Dabinett is the vintage quality cider apple tho Yarlington Mill was strongly recommended by the Cider Workgroup (a Google group.)

3 Yarlingtom Mills, 5 Dabinetts, 2 Brown Snout, bittersweet

2 King David, 1 Calville blanc D’Hiver (a French apple as if you couldn’t tell from the name!) tart, good eating/cooking/cider
3 Golden Harvey, sweet—makes strong sweet cider. Smallish apples—go in a kids lunch box. 1 Sweet Coppin also, errr, sweet
1 Improved Foxwhelp, bitter sharp

Also in the cider patch a Sturmer Pippin, tart, and near it a Golden Hornet crab apple and a Court Pendu Plat, an old apple, aromatic. Nice to eat, add to a cider crush to add apple characteristics to the cider. Since I have the King Davids and Golden Harvey, think I will eat the CPP! Very nice and store well.

Once I am settled in I will have to work out when what harvests and what to do with the fruit: eat, sell, store, preserve, make cider/perry/mead etc. can’t wait!
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 21 Feb 2020, 14:29

This is probably overthinking all this to hell.

They say that if you plant an apple tree in your suburban block it will be pollinated by another tree someone planted reasonably nearby. This doesn’t work nearly as well for plums, cherries and pears (apricots and peaches tend to be self fertile, few apples or pears are: my Dabinet, the crabs and Granny Smith are reasonably self fertile, don’t need a pollinator but a compatible tree will increase fruit yield.

So we have some random bees visiting your apple tree and pollinating it.

Now we plant 28, or hundreds or thousands of apple trees. Relying on random bees does not look like a viable policy.

People have actually studied bee behavior in an orchard and the blighters fly along rows and ignore enticingly flower-bedecked trees in the next row. So in a big pome fruit orchard the poor orchardist has to ensure a pollinating variety every 50, 60 or 120 feet in a row and stagger the positions of the pollinators I guess so the bees see the row (column?) of poillinator trees and visit them mainly.

Overthinking—I have made sure put a pollinator on the same row as a variety needing said pollinator. My little orchard the fucking bees can’t work out which is along rows and which direction is across :rofl but I did it anyway.

Maybe some bees cruising for some vegetative sex action see the two (maybe 3, thinking a Huonville crab be nice) crab apples in my front yard, visit them and appetites whetted zoom into the orchard area via the little pergola (sturmin pippin, 4 in one hole) for more.

Granny Smith, barely more than a crab apple, will pollinate any of my apples pretty much (bar the early flowerers) not that I expect it will pollinate all three Golden Harveys but maybe the three GHs will supply some viable pollen to the Granny.

Pear flowers are not very attractive to bees, low in nectar so will have to see how fruit set goes—get an apiarist to put a hive between pear rows 1 & 2 and pear rows 2 &3? Plenty of pears at the shops, guess this isn’t an insuperable problem.

One apple and one pear are poor pollinators, providing too much or too little pollen or whatever, genetics etc.

Looks like cherries then peaches will be harvested then early and midseason apples then late apples and a lot of the pears at the same time.

A chest freezer is a godsend, collect apples and pears as they ripen, add to the bucket for that variety. So eases management and improves yield by using a chest freezer this way. Cooking apples—cook them then into the freezer!

Three peach trees, I will be in piggy heaven then an even bigger harvest of gorgeous juicy, tasty pears. Some of these can be cooked and frozen (or canned, dried etc.) Can’t wait!
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 26 Feb 2020, 12:49

When the holes were being dug for pergola posts etc obviously the soil from, ohhh 300–600mm was brought up by the auger and tossed on the surface. I collected a couple of clods and tested them with the rapitest soil test kit.

Strange: pH of 6-6.5, adequate (i.e. high level) of phosphorous, bugger all nitrogen and potassium.

Weird, but finally the solution hit me! My block was farmland until the early 70s. What do Australian farmers do, religiously? Plough in superphosphate! Superphosphate is highly acid—it is bat guana treated with concentrated sulphuric acid after all. The rain soon washed away the soluble, acid phosphate into the sublayer where a lot still is. For farmers crushed phosphate rock is a better bet—non-soluble so stays in the topsoil longer, doesn’t acidify topsoil.

I think that is probably a pretty good explanation of those test results.
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 12 Mar 2020, 18:25

BTW, some may know I am off to Tassie for work on my block leaving Adelaide later this year. Seeing how I was in Flinders Hospital for a lot of today (no, they didn’t have to insert another brain , sorry, wasn’t for me but the mater) I talked to a lot of the medical staff there—no problems with that trip. Hehehe I did spend some extra $$$ and booked a two-bunk cabin that I should have to myself.
So, please, don’t make your house a fortress—live your normal life incl travel, this is not the Black Death, bring out your dead! I also found out that at about late 60s the immune system begins breaking down—that means me!
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Re: Gardening

Postby pinkeye » 12 Mar 2020, 23:05

well I do hope you enjoy yourself..
but hey..!!

don't overdo it physically.

I still think I'm a kid half the time, and tend to ..kind of.. sabotage myself.. I don't get to do all the OTHER STUFF , because I'm stuffed. And I'm 10 yrs younger than you.

Slow calm and focussed.. that is what you need to be :bgrin
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 13 Mar 2020, 14:18

I will get some help. I have gone through and worked out what trees I need to buy (next month) whee to put them (all 3 rows of pear trees are different with two rows semidwarf trees at 3m spaces and one row of dwarf trees at 2m spacings and one row not having a tree in the first location (the small pergola takes up the space.) I have worked out a plan including 2 slack days‚ not me being slack but slack in the schedule, catch up if needed. Transplanting trees (two Green Horse pears to tree bags, bit surplus to requirements, two to different places and moving NINE cider apple trees will take the most time—I exaggerated the time to plant the pears so that should give more time to the transplanting.

Also worked out a schedule monitor so I know how progress is going. I want Saturdays off but a couple hours watering, spreading sheep shit or pruning etc means more time for the main work. Watering the new trees is going to take more and more time as I plant more and more trees—some way of watering a whole row at once would be good, have an idea but not sure these hoses are still sold. A pretrip task, visit Bunnings.
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 22 Mar 2020, 08:16

Heh, I had worked out my planting plan, printed and filed it away for a while.

Bit later I did a jobs list, what jobs to do and in what order and by when, created a check list to keep track of progress, building in a bit of slack here and there—soil is heavy, transplanting can’t be rushed etc.

Then started a list of trees to be ordered, going through the planting plan and writing down the numbers incl spares where 3 or more trees are to be ordered or the number of that tree will exceed 3. Well, the apples were OK, then got to the pears. :oops

At each end of the row I have planned 3 eating pears incl two beurre bosc, one for use in perry. Hmm if I have that many eating pears why do I need 2 beurre bosc? Why do I need eight eating pears?

First row, Williams and Beurre Bosc: instead of planting a Conference pear I will plant a Yellow Huffcap perry pear, will help pollinate the Gin perry pears, one of two vintage quality perry pears.

Second row, Comice du Comice, Beurre Bosc. Not good pollination wise. Will take the Beurre Bosc out (put it in a tree planting bag, not getting rid of it) and see what takes its place and what the third tree might be, possibly a dwarf Moorcroft or Conference.

Third row, Packham’s Triumph and Beurre Hardy. B. Hardy is poor pollinator but excellent eating pear, hints of rosewater! Will likely plant a Jospehine de Malines and three Green Horse, for perry and for preserving. So keep the three Green Horse I have, just relocate along the row, so can preserve a heap of the GH pears, the rest go into perry.

So, better pollination, bit less eating pears. Hope to sell some eating pears!
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 22 Mar 2020, 09:48

First row:

Williams bon Chétien
Beurre Bosc
Yellow Huffcap, dwarf

Will pollinate each other and the six dwarf Gin perry pears


Second row

Doyenne Du Comice
Conference
Yellow Huffcap dwarf

All pollinate each other and will pollinate the four semidwarf Moorcroft perry pears that make up the rest of the row, Conference is English, the other two French or Belgian.


Third row:

Packhams Triumph (Australian pear—there is a pear variety bred in the US but does not fit in with the perry pears, need Euro pears)
Beurre Hardy—deelish Belgian pear, piss-poor pollinator
Yellow Huffcap (dwarf)

Then 3 Green Horse semi dwarf perry pears.

So now have 9-3(YHcap) -1 (BBosc) = 5 eating pears. Be looking to sell some I reckon! But preserve/juice some, sell some, why not, delicious pears!
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 23 Mar 2020, 14:16

OK, will order the tress next month, delivery to a landscaper who has looked after my trees before. If I can’t travel he will put the trees into treebags where they will grow as normal for up to two years at least—that is the important bit, that the trees grow!

Will tell him to cut them at 45cm if they are whips (just a thin trunk) or lightly feathered (a few side branches/twigs.) Also will tell him NO fertiliser for the cherry trees and to use sheep manure as fertiliser (or other low nitrogen stuff.)
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Re: Gardening

Postby pinkeye » 23 Mar 2020, 22:41

Love your optimism..! :bgrin

I'll be mowing ( big job after all the rain ) and getting out the chainsaw to break up some of the fallen wood from trees great and small.

Lots to do really, right here at home.

Hope your Mum is well.
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