Monday, November 28, 2011

Propagating & Ordering More Fruit Plants

   Since I finished harvesting apples on Nov. 16, I spent most of last week propagating more 'Triple Crown' thornless blackberries.  Our 'Triple Crown' planting had sections of another thornless blackberry variety, 'Navaho' mixed in.  'Navaho' was the first upright thornless blackberry variety released and tastes good, but the fruit are smaller, and many customers complained about that.
   So Bill cut off all the 'Navaho' canes with a weedeater a few weeks ago, and I herbicided the stubs to kill the plants.  Then last week I carefully dug up the tip layers of 'Triple Crown', where the long side branches arch to the ground and send out roots, and transplanted them to the spots between the stubs of the removed 'Navaho' plants.  I'll transplant more next spring to replace those that get killed over the winter.  The new 'Triple Crown' plants should start bearing fruit in 2013.
I dug tip layers from arching 'Triple Crown' side branches that rooted at the tips (back row), and transplanted them (small green plant at left) between killed stumps of 'Navaho' blackberries (right).
   I also put tree guards around our new peach planting and noted what trees need replacing.  The new peach planting contains all varieties from a private breeding program in Michigan, called the Stellar peaches, because all have "star" in their name.  These peaches are very cold-hardy, resistant to bacterial spot and bacterial canker, and produce large, flavorful, freestone fruit that hang well on the tree and are slow to brown when cut.  Hopefully we'll start harvesting some 'Glowingstar' in 2012, and the others starting in 2013.  They'll include 'Redstar', 'Blazingstar', 'Starfire', 'Coralstar', 'Allstar' and 'Autumn Star'.
'Glowingstar' peach, from the Stellar peach series website.

   Over the last few days of rain and extreme cold I've been investigating new strawberry varieties, and have decided to try 'Galletta' and 'L'Amour'.  I still love 'Earliglow' for flavor and fruit rot resistance, but these varieties have larger fruit and 'Galletta' escapes most anthracnose fruit rot. So I'll put in a small trial this spring.
   We've ordered some new scab-resistant apples and fire blight-resistant pear varieties that we'll plant in spring also.  We still have many #2 apples in our new cooler, and will have them for sale all during Dec. and into Jan.