Expanding the orchard

5 Jul

Continuing on from my last post, I’ve made a few more additions to the garden this week. Actually, it’s probably enough of an expansion to make a small list:

  • Dwarf multigrafted apple  (Granny Smith and Pink Lady)
  • Sunset Peach
  • Sunset Nectarine
  • Flame seedless grapes
  • Rhubarb (Victoria)

Dwarf multigrafted apple (Granny Smith and Pink Lady)

The gap in the dwarf fruit tree bed was bothering me, and I really wanted to fill it with a dwarf Granny Smith apple. Seeing as the Granny Smith apple was originally bred less than a kilometre from us, it would be a travesty to leave it out of my garden, right?

I picked up the multigrafted tree in Bunnings for an absolute bargain, but there was no indication of the rootstock so I’m fairly dubious about its dwarf status. I’ve put it in the ground regardless, and may have to be ruthless with my pruning. I think I’ll prune the two grafts substantially, because I don’t want this tree to shade the other ones significantly, and the Pink Lady graft is a bit longer than the Granny Smith, and I want them to be even.

Sunset nectarine just potted

I managed to get the sunset peach and nectarines into their pots. They are wonderful looking trees, and they will look spectacular in full flower. I used a rose potting mix and mulched fairly heavily. I already have a shoot on the peach, and I just hope the nectarine shows signs of life soon – one of its branches snapped in transport and it looks a little worse for wear. The courier company was also useless and kept them in a box in the warehouse for a whole week, which can’t have been very good for them either.

Grow little trees!

I’m just having my doubts that such small trees will be able to produce sufficient fruit for my peach and nectarine loving family.

J with the rhubarb and grape

The rhubarb crown and bare-root grape vine arrived today. Like many of my fruit trees, I ordered them from Daleys. I’m really impressed with the Flame seedless grape in particular – it’s quite a substantial plant for a very reasonable price – $12.90

For the rhubarb, I decided on the variety Victoria based on taste, but I’m concerned it isn’t very red. I can probably squeeze another crown in, so I may pick up another (redder) variety at some stage.

I took the crown out of its bag, and it looks pretty substantial. Though I’m concerned now looking at these pictures that I’ve actually planted it upside down – I’m sure that I can see a green leaf at the “bottom”.


Rhubarb 'Victoria' crown

The rhubarb crown has gone into Bed B, right in the back corner towards the rose bed and closest to the house. It’s not going to get a lot of sun there, but rhubarb should cope in low light just fine, and because it’s perennial I didn’t want to devote a precious sunny position to it.

Flame seedless grape root system

I ordered the flame seedless grape against the advice of Daleys, who suggest that it won’t thrive in a humid coastal environment like Sydney. We really love to eat flame seedless grapes though, so I thought I’d try it and see. When I pulled it out of the bag I was really impressed by the extensive root system – if this guy doesn’t thrive I’ll have to choice but to admit my climate is all wrong.

I’ve been thinking about the best location for the grape vine and not coming to any great conclusions. Today though I concluded that along the front bed is my best bet. I decided to plant it right in the middle, and if it grows well I’ll train it in both directions along a wire, which will act as a natural front fence.

Watering the grape in

I planted it right in the middle of Bed A (behind the suedes and turnips) and watered it in thoroughly.

I’m really very excited about its potential – the kids love red seedless grapes.

So tomorrow I have another job.

Digging up some rhubarb.

Stupid me.

6 Responses to “Expanding the orchard”

  1. The New Good Life July 5, 2011 at 7:24 pm #

    Good luck with all your new purchases – especially with the rhubarb!! I’m on the hunt for some fruit trees myself and perhaps some rhubarb as well. Will have to check out the website you used to order yours from.

  2. Brendan @ Merewether Life July 5, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

    Is great to have a supply of your own fruit, can’t wait to see the little trees heavy with fruit.

  3. Asydfoodie July 13, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

    Wouldn’t it be better to focus on getting a large crop of fruit x rather than 1-2 of fruit x, y and z?

  4. L July 13, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

    I think if we still lived in a bartering economy where there were plenty of people to trade with for the other fruit I wanted, then I would say yes.

    But I don’t really want to be dealing with 300 of a particular type, year in, year out. I do realise though that my overall yield is likely to be smaller. I’m also likely to have many failures before I work out the types of trees (and rootstocks etc) work for me.

  5. Meredith August 6, 2013 at 6:49 pm #

    g’day two years on and how is your dwarf granny and pink lady going? I’m planning on buying a dwarf lady and I would like the granny but we’re not cold enough (about 50km from you but very temperate.

    would love to know how your garden is faring!

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney August 6, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

      The granny/pink lady multigraft has never been as successful as the golden dorset or tropical Anna. I suspect that I don’t get enough chill. I have had fruit from both, but not in good numbers. It may still be too early though – I’m still hoping!

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