Posts tagged Jupiter apple

Allotment Fruit Trees – winter maintenance

allotment fruit tree mulching

Removing the old mulch from the base of first year fruit trees

Jupiter apple tree top-dressed with manure

Top-dressed with well-rotted manure because the mini-orchard was planted in poor soil and modern thinking is not to remediate the planting hole which can lead to root binding but to top feed instead.

 

Jupiter apple tree top-dressed and re-mulched

Weeds removed, top dressing added, mulch reapplied – tree ready for spring!

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Fruit tree update

Full post tomorrow but for today – we planted two trees in the mini orchard!103 Jupiter apple 17 feb 13

Yes, that humble twig is a fruit tree – a one year Jupiter apple maiden to be precise.

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Allotment fruit trees – step 1 – selection

Stepover Cox tree

Stepover Cox tree

Monday was an exciting day – we drove up to Brogdale, home of the National Fruit Collection, to pick up four of the five trees we are planting on plot #103. The fifth tree, which is being specially grafted for me, won’t be ready for a year. It took months of planning and consideration to select five trees that met all our needs and here’s what we ended up with:

Apples

  • Stepover 20% Bramley – we never have too many cooking apples, and a stepover can be used as a hedge in edible landscaping, so it has a dual function
  • Stepover Cox – I love Cox apples
  • Jupiter on an M27 rootstock – Jupiter is like a more intense Cox – good for eating but also a nice firm slicing apple for tarts and pies when cooking, it’s high yielding, vigorous and on M27 rootstock can be kept below the 2.4 metre maximum height our site allows.

These trees are all in the same pollination group (3) although that probably doesn’t matter too much on our site, as there are apple trees all around us. Even so, with Bramley being a triploid it’s good to have two other pollinators in easy travelling distance.
Plum

  • Guinevere on a St Julien rootstock – now this took time to decide upon. Guinevere is a great self-fertile late season plum with the unusual advantage of having good fruit storage if refrigerated, which made her first choice. But she had to be on a St Julien, and that’s traditionally too tall for our site. She could have been espaliered or fan trained on St Julien and kept below 2.4 metres, but we don’t have a convenient fence or wall to train her on. Eventually, after a lot of research and talking to other growers, I decided that Guinevere would work for us as a pyramid pruned tree, with the possibility that she would need festooning because she’s vigorous and a heavy producer. Festooning is the tying of young branches down to the horizontal position using stakes as anchors – it’s a lovely old technique, one that I’ve never tried, and I’m feeling quite keen to have a go at!

 

The 'bloody snowflake' patterning of a krasyni shtandart apple

The ‘bloody snowflake’ patterning of a krasyni shtandart apple

The final tree, which we’ll collect this time next year, is a Krasnyi Shtandart (which translates from the Russian as standard red) apple on M27 rootstock. I love red-fleshed apples and wanted to have at least one heritage tree that might otherwise not be in general cultivation, and when OH and I saw the spectacular patterning on this particular apple we agreed we wanted to try and grow it. It’s in the same flowering group as the previous three trees, so with luck we’ll have every opportunity to get a good harvest, as well as providing habitats for pollinating insects.

This weekend, with luck, we’ll plant the four trees we have. Until then they are all living in the shed, and I keep popping out to check they are okay. It’s exciting, I’ve never planted an orchard before!

My hope is that my Grow and Tell students will spend the next couple of years helping to establish these trees and creating a handbook that details the care they’ve had, the harvests, and the problems we encounter, then, when OH and I finally get too old to maintain plot #103, the new tenants will have a history of the trees and a guide to their care, which might help both the tenants and the trees to get along together!

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