Tuesday, May 19, 2015

2016 herbaceous boarder plan

I am planning my herbaceous border for next spring.

Pink Marshmallow Fuscia
Angelique Pink and White Tulip and Angelique Tulip 6 pack
Drifting Bubbles Irish (white with a little pink)
Guardian Angel Pink Iris
 (how to cross pollinate iris)
Calla Lily (white South African lily)
Calla Lily Crystal Blush (white with touch of pink)
Aphrodite Amaryllis
Apple blossom Begonia

Alyssum for Edging
Alyssum for Edging Apricot
Osteospermum Akila White
Tip Top Apricot

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Grafted Fruit Trees in my backyard

Stella Cherry
I started my first tree grafting project, and have yet to actually label the newly grafted branches. I know, major mistake. So before I forget, I grafted two other types of cherry onto my sweet Van Cherry Tree, the two grafts are Stella Cherry and Sam Sweet Cherry. Sam Sweet Cherry is a good pollinator for Rainer cherry. Stella cherry does not need a pollinator. I know that growing cherry trees as espalier, and expecting fruit, is harder than apple trees. They have to be grown as a fan instead of cordon style. Right now, I have two four cherry branches growing on the cords, this should keep their growth slow. This will give me time to figure out how many other types of cherry I will graft onto the tree.

Cherries are divided into groups: Sweet and Pie (pie are also called tart cherries).  My two grafted cherries are SWEET. I think the main
Van Cherries
dark cherry tree is also SWEET. This means, next year I should graft some tart and pie cherries onto the trees. Tart cherries bloom too late in the season to pollinate the others, this is okay because if I graft them, then I can get early and late season cherries.

Sam Cherries
Training cherry branches to grow along a cordon is more difficult than training apples. The branches are less pliable, so it is a good thing I am doing it now instead of later. Cherries grow on new growth wood only, which is why they must be grown as a fan. I am still training the bottom four branches to grow in a straight line on the fence, but later on I will have to allow the branches to grow into more of a fan. The important thing is that grafting different kinds of cherry allows for efficient pollination, and a good crop year after year. So next year, I need to graft two tart cherry branches onto the tree. This way, I will have a total of five different varieties of cherries growing on two trees.

I have two apple trees, one is a Red Delicious Apple and the other is a semi dwarf Gala Apple. The Gala Apple tree has nothing grafted onto it.
Gala Apples

On the Red Delicious apple tree I grafted a golden delicious apple branch. (lets hope it takes) If the graft survives, then next year I will try to grow a Granny Smith Graft on the same branch. Then I will grow all three (yellow) (red) and (green) apples as cordons up the fence. If it works, it will look pretty cool!

In the Raintree Nursery Catalog I read about a man, Sam Van Aken who grafted varieties of plums,peaches, nectarines, cherries and almonds onto one tree. He starts with a hardy root stalk, with a Shiro Japanese plum tree. Plums are grafted on the bottom of the tree, then apricots, while peaches are up on top.  I would love to take on a project like that, but I am working only with espalier trees.

Rainer Cherry Tree
Wine Grapes
Peach Tree (order November - April)