Sunday, February 27, 2011

3-n-1 Apple

I purchased a few 3n1 Apples on my wholesale order this year for the orchard. This one is a low chill Apple with Anna, Dorsett Golden, Fuji and Gordon.

I dedided to make some of my own so I trimmed branches off my Mexican Plum and made a 4n1 Plum with Santa Rosa, Burgundy, Green Gage and Mexican.

These are cleft grafts and are very easy to do. I cut a slit down the middle, cut the donor wood into a wedge, stick it in so it matches up with the edge, wrap with a rubber band and then wrap in parafilm tape.

More pics.

I also put some wax on the cut to protect it from water penetration.

Here are some pictures of the Pineapple Quince that I grafted two Asian Pears and an Apple.

Mason Bees

The Mason Bees are finally out of their little wooden block nest that we have hanging from the back porch. They are working on the Rosemary, Apple and Plum flowers.

The picture is kinda blurry.

They are very friendly but get annoyed if you get in their way.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The winter horribles!!!!

I love it when they say things like that on the news.
I tried to get prepared for the artic weather by putting blankets over some of my younger more senstive citrus. I planted quite a few very young citrus this month and promptly dug them right back up and potted them two days ago. They will be able to take the cold when they are older. Once a nice thick bark appears on the plant, they should be fully hardy. I also only buy citrus on Trifoliate rootstock because it is clay tolerant and hardy below zero degrees. Studies show that it will impart more cold hardiness to your citrus. The more rootstock that is above ground will give you more cold hardiness.

Here are pictures of my ghostly phantoms around the yard. I put bamboo sticks around the older cold sensitive citrus bushes and covered them with large tarps or plastic sheets that we had lying around. I then put a lamp or light with a 100 watt bulb under the blanket. I was careful to set the light on a non-flamable surface like a rock but 100 watt bulbs only get up to 111 degrees. These bushes took the cold temps down to 14F last year but I lost a years worth of crops. I dont want to risk it this year.

Here is my sunroom. I normally only have delicate tropicals in here but I had lots of young and tender plants still in pots. They had been out all winter but I decided not to chance it.

Finally, I have my mini-greenhouse with a 150 watt bulb. It is 40 degrees in there while the outside temps were in the low 20's. The greenhouse cost about 80 bucks and was a popup so it was easy to setup.

All my other fruit trees are just loving the cold since they are hardy below zero.

Snow on Thursday for Central Texas?????
I hope so.