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Monday, January 10, 2011

Getting My Stellar Groove Back, Indeed

Four little apples, all in a row

I think I really have my groove back.  Today was a sunny, beautiful day, if a bit cold, so I got out there and moved six out of eight apple trees.  The day they were originally sunk into the ground I had nine other trees to get in, plus twenty cane fruits.  The apples were the first to go in, so I was in a hurry and did a lousy job.  Today was a step in the right direction toward getting Goal Number Nine accomplished.  The apples needed to be moved to their permanent, proper homes before I can wire them up.

Scar, and then new leader right above it

I had to wait until they went dormant of course, but the Bramley's are being stubborn.  There's even new growth on them!  I moved one of them anyway.  Hopefully I haven't killed anybody.  I have a close up here of one of the Bramley's where I cut the whip, which forced the side shoots out that turned into lateral branches.  It grew another leader, which is that fat thing heading straight up from the cut.  All the other trees I ordered and received were wimpy little whips, but not the Bramley's. They are super sturdy and vigorous.

Rice is nice
In other homesteading news, I am preparing stuffed cabbage rolls for dinner tonight using a cabbage from our garden.  I'm cooking the rice for the stuffing and heating up the water in which to blanch the cabbage on the wood stove.  The rolls will also sport onions from our garden.

Come on spring!

And then last but not least, I'm forcing a hyacinth to bloom in one of the hyacinth glasses I got a bazillion years ago.  Seriously, I bought that glass, which was one of a pair that I'm not sure I still own, at the hardware store where I worked my very first job in, are you ready for this? 1977.  I think that this is only the third hyacinth bulb that it's seen, but I'm very glad to be doing it.  I love the blue glass and purple bulb and green growth together.

It's a cheerful spot on an otherwise messy table.


D said...

Paula, that hyacinth says you are ready for spring! and cabbage from the garden? My kind of growing.

A healthy and happy New Year to you and may this year bring you many blessings.

Miriam said...

Stellar's right - you're on a roll!

Jennifer Montero said...

Bramleys are a triploid and incredibly vigorous. In the UK, we call those straight up shoots water shoots (all growth, no fruit). Bramleys respond that way to pruning.

I may be teaching my granny to suck eggs as they say, apologies if you know all this already.

Bramleys are what Brits call "cooking apples" if you ever see a recipe which calls for them. We use them for crumbles (apple crisps) A LOT. It's our equivalent to the zucchini harvest - you can't give them away during the season and you lock your car doors for fear someone will leave a box in your back seat. But they freeze great.

Paula said...

I didn't know that, Jennifer. I hope that doesn't mean that I've ruined my trees! I'll look up triploid- never heard of it. I chose the Bramley's because they are supposed to be a good cider apple (as are the Golden Russets). I'm glad to know they're prolific, but as I said before, I sure hope I haven't ruined them.

Thanks for the info!

Jennifer Montero said...

Aside from napalming it, you can't ruin a bramley. And it will fruit like buggery. It just responds to a hard pruning with vigorous growth (a triploid trait). Simply cut off any water shoots in the dormant period. When it gets big enough, it will settle down.

From a gardener's POV, a triploid tree will pollinate itself, and take pollen from other trees but won't give back (it's very selfish). If you grow, say, a bramley with only one other open pollinated variety, you can find that your 2nd variety doesn't fruit so well.

If you live within a half mile radius of any other apple trees, don't worry, you'll get enough pollen from them.

I think your espaliers look tres professional! You have an excellent eye.

Paula said...

Thank you very much!