Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Three variety espalier

And at the bottom, and example of "playing with novelty grafting to add many different scions to a fruit" - espalier of three varieties, Passe Crassane, Beurre d’Anjou, and Bergamot d'Esperen

Blossom - Morettini

The first flowers of Morettini have just unfurled, heralding Spring! A sight to cheer the heart!

Poor Quality rootstocks

Very skinny stock, had to find an equally weedy bit of scionwood to match

Poor amount of root

Again, not much root, with nasty split at the bottom of the wood

As I left it too late to order stocks from Frank Matthews, I ended up ordering them from a new supplier, Blackmoor nurseries. I have to say I was very disappointed with the quality of the rootstocks. The pears in particular were very weedy, they only matched the width of average-sized scions within a few inches of the root, much lower than I would normally like to position a graft. One was completely dead, and a few had minimal roots. The single apple stock of m111 had barely any root, and this was also split down the middle, annoying as I really want this one to succeed as my stock tree for my new variety.

I won't be buying from them again!

Grafting session

Just a few photos to illustrate my grafting method (namely the 'whip and tongue' technique.

I found this page on whip and tongue grafting, which made me laugh. I don't think the author would have much time for the way I do things! The instructions are quite good, apart from the bit about twine and sealing wax - I've tried that when I first started and believe me, crappy, cheap, low-tack duck tape and clothes pegs are much easier!

Last pears - Santa Claus

We are down to our last 3 pears of 2011, Santa Claus which has proved to be the longest keeping. Although they have shrivelled, they are still remarkably firm and crisp, just beginning to soften slightly now. Considering that we are almost in April, the flavour is remarkably good - not as fine as the few that ripened earlier but still of a quality that is welcome at this time of year. Next year I will wrap them in tissue paper to stop them drying out so much, now that I know that they take quite so long to mature.