Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Planting vintage varieties

Yesterday I drove across to Drakes Broughton to visit Kevin at Walcot Organic Nursery and see if I could shark a few late trees to plant out. Finding fruit trees anywhere on proper standard rootstocks (i.e. M25) is quite difficult as more dwarfing forms tend to be preferred and are more convenient for a garden scale. Couple that with the fact that it's quite late in the year to be planting fruit trees and I was lucky they hadn't been completely cleaned out. I came away with an Ashmead's Kernel (Dave Kaspar's favourite) and the cider varieties Dabinett, Michelin and Tom Putt. I also got a crab apple as they are traditionally used to help improve pollination rates since they hold their blossom for a long time. I wanted to buy a few maidens to put in the ground this year and then by this time next year I will hopefully have fifty more trees of rare local varietes that I am grafting onto M25 next week. If you can't buy it, make it yourself.

The pruning is also going at a great pace - we now only have three trees to go before the 1920s orchard is completely pruned. (That's six years growth off fifty 90 year old Bramley apple trees.)

You can almost hear this old beast sucking in the fresh air!

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