‘Multi Graft’ Apple

This is another save. It struggled all spring and early summer: it got beat up by a huge hail storm, it struggled with irrigation issues, and it was destined to be burnt. But it still had life left in it and I got a little bit attached to having an apple tree. This was the first apple I got last year… The gateway tree if you will.

Hopefully it survives this winter, after all it survived last year. The grafted branches weren’t labelled, so I’ll have to sues out which is which after they have apples (which may not be for a year or so).

The varieties grafted onto this tree are:

  • Harcourt
  • September Ruby
  • Battleford
  • Norland

A little description on each variety from the nursery this tree came from:

  • Harcourt
    • Zone 3
    • Apple is medium, red, crisp, juicy, white-fleshed and mild-flavoured
    • Ripens in Late Summer- early fall
    • Eating, Baking or Juicing Apple
    • no notes on this variety’s storage qualities from the nursery
  • September Ruby
    • Zone 3
    • Apple is large, sweet and bright red
    • Fall apple
    • Fresh eating or juicing Apple
    • Good Storage Qualities
  • Battleford
    • Zone 3
    • Apple is medium, yellow-green with red stripes.
    • Late Summer ripening
    • Eating or Cooking Apple
    • Fair Storage Qualities
  • Norland
    • Zone 2
    • Apple is medium, green with red stripes
    • Fruit drops when ripe in the Summer
    • Eating or Baking Apple
    • Stores well if picked under-ripe

 

If this tree makes it (and does well), I would love to get another multi-grafted apple tree with different varieties on it. If you have any advice on any of these varieties, or a multi-grafted tree, share in the comments below.

Previous Tree Posts:

‘Crimson Passion’ Cherry; ‘Brookgold’ Plum; ‘Rescue’ Crabapple; and Bur Oak.

Upcoming: ‘Spring Snow’ Crabapple; Ohio Buckeye; ‘Parkland Apple’ and possibly some profiles on the native trees in the area.

My Etsy Shop: Back 40 Woodcraft

 

Here are the photos I have of the tree. You can see the slight differences in the background. This first one was later in the summer, and you can see a few additions that are not in the 2nd photo.Multi-graft Apple 2018

This is how I managed to get the tree back to my house (going slow on back roads). From my house, it got to recover a few days before my dad came with his truck to take it back to their house. 

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Seed Sowing So-far (2019)

Its the middle of a Polar Vortex here… which is just internet-talk for “it’s winter and it’s cold.”

It also means that I (and everyone else too) am itching for it to be spring. So I had to sow some seeds and kind of get my fingers in the dirt. I also wanted to keep up the momentum of actually writing on this little ol’ blog of mine. I’m aiming for 2 posts per week. But I’m warning you that if life starts to get busy and crazy again, this might be the first thing I drop off the priority list.

But enough blabbering.. Here is what I’ve sown so far this year.

In mid- January, I sowed some Red Beard Onions in a red solo cup. I’ll let them grow together in a clump and then plant them out. This is mostly to hedge my bets in the case that the ones I planted last year, don’t make it through this winter (although I have been diligent in making sure my beds have been covered in snow for some insulation from the wind)

At the same time, I also sowed some Silverskin Pickling onions. The seed packet was from 2014, so I figured I would finally try and grow them again. I’m growing them the same as the ‘Red Beard’ onions, but once it comes to planting them out, I will probably separate them (gently) and plant them in some organised fashion, rather than a clump.

I also have a handful of baby trees I’ve started, but that is a whole ‘nother post, that I’ll get to writing eventually.

On January 30th, I finally pulled out my little peat pellet trays, and I sowed some herbs. I still have many herbs to start, but this was a start. Herbs are a good way to quench your thirst of planting something. They will grow pretty slow, so won’t get out of hand when you start them this early. Here is what I filled my 12 pellet tray with on Jan. 30:

  • 2x Greek Oregano
  • 2x German Winter Thyme
  • 2x Sweet Marjoram
  • 2x Summer Savory
  • 2x Midget Summer Savory
  • 2x Winter Savory

On February 6, the above herbs had all sprouted, so I planted some more variety for my herb garden this summer:

  • 2x Oregano
  • 2x Lemon Balm
  • 2x Anise
  • 2x Munstead English Lavendar
  • 2x Heirloom Pineapple Alpine Strawberries
  • 2x Habanero Peppers

The Lavendar and the Strawberries are both some more hedging-bet plants. I grew them later last year, and they are planted out in the garden. I just wanted a little back-up.

The Anise is an old seed packet, and more of a “hey lets try this” rather than something I am really excited about. If it makes it, then it will be fun to try something new. This is a good way to discover new things when you are new to gardening. I’ve found a bunch of new things I like growing by doing this.

The Lemon Balm is one of those things that I’ve found I love by just trying it. I don’t necessarily do anything with the plant, but Its great aroma therapy just to touch the leaves. If you are looking for something easy to grow, this is one of them. It grows easy, with hardly any work and the leaves smell amazing.

Habanero… The Habanero was a bit of a whim. I didn’t have any other herb seeds that I was ready to start yet, and then I found my pepper seeds, and figured I would give the habaneros a go again. Last time I grew them, I did get a few peppers, but I remember wishing I had started them a bit earlier. This will let the plants be a little more mature in the comfort of my warm house before I make them go outside. This is one of the things I am excited to grow again, but also won’t be super sad if they don’t make it.

Next up in my sowing will be the rest of the peppers that I want to grow. This will probably be near the end of the month, and into March. Between Mid March and Mid-April I will be doing tomatoes and near the end of April, I will start any squash or cucumbers. I will also be going through my flower seeds and sowing whatever catches my eye. Likely some more hollyhocks, lavatera, cosmos and maybe some sunflowers.

 

Any suggestions or hints & tips or anything you’d like to share, put it in the comments below

My Etsy Shop: Back 40 Woodcraft

 

Bur Oak

So this is my first post about a non-edible tree… Or at least non-edible for a while.  I got a handful of rescue trees last year that we planted at my parents house, and this was the first one.

It was a “dead” tree returned to the garden centre I worked at last year. There is a 1 year warranty on trees, so it was returned for a new one. Honestly, it looked like they just never planted the tree. It had leaves all over the trunk and on the few little branches it had. It was headed to the burn pile, but I just couldn’t part with it. I had to chop the top of it off to be able to wedge it into my car. I figured if it could survive this far, it would be able to send up a new leader… Or if it didn’t I could turn it into buttons.

Once my dad planted it out in the beautiful soil there, the thing perked right up. I’m really looking forward to this one. I’ve dubbed it the Rescue Oak.

BurrOak 2018

A little bit about the Bur Oak:

  • Hardy, and native to the eastern Prairies.
  • Very slow growing.
  • Height: 40-50 feet
  • Spread: 20+ feet
  • Cork-like bark
  • Drought resistant

In the back of the photo, you can see the ‘Crimson Passion’ Cherry.

Previously in my Tree Posts:

‘Crimson Passion’ Cherry

‘Brookgold’ Plum

‘Recsue’ Crapapple

Upcoming: Ohio Buckeye, ‘Spring Snow’ Crabapple, ‘Parkland’ Apple, Multi-graft Apple, and more.

Parsley

I grew 2 types of parsley last year. They were both a bit slow to start and I was worried they wouldn’t germinate because the seeds were pretty old. With patience, they slowly emerged and once we got some heat, they really took off. However, I learned that this is typical of Parsley.

Parsley is one of my favourite herbs to grow. They just have such a fresh and refreshing smell. I don’t use a ton of it fresh in the summer (since I usually just try to survive the heat), but I do dry a bunch of it for using in the winter.

The types I grew:

img_9313

‘Plain Leaved’ Parsley (Mr. Fothergill’s Seeds… This pack of seeds I bought in 2013)

and…

img_9314

‘Champion Moss Curled’ Parsley (McKenzie Seeds… bought in 2014)

 

Typically, I just pull them out at the end of the year and start fresh every spring, BUT, Parsley is a Biennial. If I let these try and make it through the winter, I could probably collect my own fresh parsley seed. Since I have two little clumps of each kind of parsley, I may move one of each to an area that I probably wont dig up next spring, and see how they make it. As I am trying to get more experience in saving my own seed, I am eagerly waiting to see if these survived the winter. Later in February or March I might start some new parsley to keep up my herb-drying-for-winter hobby.

How I dry my parsley: You can just go traditional and hang a bundle of them upside down in a dry spot in your house. I use my dehydrator to hasten the process though. I typically do small harvest from a bunch of my herbs at once and stick them all in the dehydrator. Over the summer, I get a pretty decent harvest of dried herbs to use all winter. Think of this herb-growing-and-drying-situation as a slow and steady wins the race thing. Parsley probably gives me the biggest bang for my buck.

  1. You can snip off almost all the leaves… just make sure to leave some so the poor plant can survive and make the energy to make new leaves.
  2. Give them a good wash (later in the summer, the flat leaf variety tends to get aphids on them… so make sure you clean them all off… or enjoy the added protein on your dried parsley i guess?).
    1. Quick dry off between paper towels and then to the next step.
  3. Spread them out evenly on your dehydrator tray
  4. Turn it on… I usually turn the heat to 130F and leave the default timer of 10 hours on. Some of the herbs will take longer than others. Some will be done before 10 hours, some will take longer, it just depends on the moisture in the leaves, and also a little bit about the weather you have.
  5. Once the leaves are dry and crispy, I put them into a plastic sandwich bag, roll them over with a small rolling pin to break them apart a bit. I pull the stems out, and put the parsley bits into a mason jar with the previously dried bits.
  6. I label the lid of the mason jar with the herb name and the year.

 

Sorry for the lack of new photos on this post. I’ll get back into the groove once things are growing again.

My Etsy Shop: Back 40 Woodcraft

‘Rescue’ Crab Apple Tree

rescue crabapple 2018

This one is a rescue ‘Rescue’ crab apple. It was also crushed by a larger tree (like the ‘Crimson Passion’ Cherry Tree) and the main leader snapped off. In the long run, that will be a good thing, but generally people don’t like buying damaged trees. This is a good way to get a good deal if you are willing to put in a little bit of work, and not have an instant-gratification tree.

It is also a little special to me because of where this tree was developed. It was introduced in 1936 by the Experimental Farm in Scott, Saskatchewan.  My grandpa was born in Scott, which is why it has a special place in my heart… So I hope it doesn’t disappoint.

I’ll try and update as I can throughout the year.

Quick Notes:

  • Cold Hardiness: Zone 3
  • Height: 10-15 feet (Spread is the same)
  • Ripens in Early August
  • Said to be excellent for fresh eating and also canning. Also said to be a large crab-apple, or small eating apple by people I have talked to.
  • Latin: Malus ‘Rescue’

If you’ve grown this tree, or have anything to share about it, please let me know. It is one I am really looking forward to.