Tuesday, April 20, 2010

This and That

Yesterday I went to my mailbox and there was a padded envelop addressed to me. I hadn't ordered anything, but it looked suspiciously like a package of seeds. I've gotten enough of them in the mail that I know what they are like. Indeed they were. Silence of Poor Richard's Almanac sent me some seed. Thank you! I love these kinds of surprises. The lavender will be grown in the new house's herb garden. I'll have to start it soon. A lot of herbs take a long time to grow. The lettuce won't get in until the fall planting though. I'm wondering about when to start the cosmos. I'm thinking soon. I'm hoping it goes in the border of the new perennial garden. It will be a place holder until I figure out what all will be planted. The thyme seed sadly I don't need. I have both French and English thyme now and I'm going to take cuttings to bring along with me. If anyone wants it just let me know, I'll pass it along.

As you can see the San Marzano paste tomato is already opened. That was me. I started my tomatoes on Saturday in plastic baggies and paper towels as I did with the peppers. The peppers were done with the baggies so I figured it was time. I made a whole flat of 2" soil blocks to put them in once they are up.

I'm debating on what the second apple tree should be. I want the first to be a Honeycrisp as it is my favorite apple and a good keeper. The second should be a good applesauce apple that is a good pollinator. I'm thinking either Ginger Gold or Liberty. I love Ginger Gold for fresh eating. It makes good apple sauce and they ripen a month before Honeycrisp so it will extend the season. Liberty makes good applesauce. I have no clue about the eating quality but is best when left to mellow a month before using. It ripens the same time as Honeycrisp. Its claim to fame is that it is really disease resistant and that might be good. Diseases run rampant in the north east. Has anyone grown any of these?

For plums it seems that the Santa Rosa is the self pollinating plum tree. It is good for zones 5-9, so a dwarf one might be nice. it looks like they get about 5-7' tall.

The other fruit tree I want is a self pollinating peach (I think most in our zone are self pollinating). I know nothing about peach trees at all. Anyone have favorite varieties? Elberta seems to be a popular one to sell and I can get it in a dwarf size easily and it is self pollinating.


  1. I just recently got some more fruit trees. I got a Jubileum Plum which is also self fertile. I don't remember why I chose that over the Santa Rosa though. For a peach I got the Indian Free, which is resistant to peach leaf curl and is a taste test winner. Plus it's an Heirloom Peach.

    I also had a Double Delight Nectarine (don't know if that's an option) that was fabulous.

    I always find conflicting info on which trees are self-fertile and which are not. The nursery I got my trees from says the Indian Free is self fertile, but another site says it isn't.

  2. Yes I do consider nectarines and peaches to be basically the same. Whether it has a fuzzy surface or not is irrelevant to me. As long as they are good for fresh eating and cooking I'm good. I wonder what diseases are prevalent here. I've sent and email to one of my friends that has peach trees so maybe he will know.

  3. What a wonderful surprise! I'm growing the Renee's Caesar Duo right now. The red romaine has passed muster with my husband but I haven't harvested any of the green one yet.

    The one peach variety that I've grown is the Donut peach, also called the Saturn peach. It is a low acid white fleshed variety with a flat shape. It is supposed to be hardy and pest- and disease-resistant. I loved the flavor. I think I'm going to have to make room in the garden for a tree next year.

  4. I had a semi dwarf July Elberta that was just out of this world for flavor, as well as being early to bear. I got a crop in its second year, and it was a heavy bearer until borers got to it. It was still bearing so well the branches had to be propped, and Mr. H cut it down. I damn near divorced him over that.

  5. Santa Rosas are pretty nice. They're popular out here.

  6. I have yet to get any fruit from my trees, but they do seem healthy. I have Golden delicious apple, Blushingstar peach, Danube cherry, Macintosh apple, Redhaven Peach and a Granny Smith apple. There are 2 more out there, but I can't find what they are. I think they're Cortland apples. This is the 3rd year for half our trees and the second for the others. No major problems yet.

  7. Daphne: My husband and I have an orcahard, 120+ trees....

    A lot of them are heirloom apples, but we do have golden delicious and those are a pollinator as well.

    We have no Liberty or Honeycrisp.

    For "the Mom", cortland are a softer apple -- is your apple in question of being a cortland soft? Here is OH, our cortlands harvest at the end of August.

  8. Hi Daphne, your new place is so exciting to consider and it all sounds wonderful. The seeds and soil blocks will help keep you occupied until the big move happens. I am so happy for you. The spinach looks delish. :-)

  9. Hi Daphne! So glad you were pleased with the seeds! Your orchard-to-be sounds great. I love both Honeycrisp and Ginger Gold, and would advise getting both of them. I got disease-resistant apples when I put in our first two, only to realize that I still had to deal with pest control, a lot of work for inferior apples. My next apple tree was a Braeburn! My theory is if nobody's growing apples or crabapples anywhere near you, your chances of disease are reduced, anyway. We have a cold-hardy dwarf Reliance peach and love it. A stunning display of deep pink flowers every spring, hardy to 25 below, and abundant crops of really delicious peaches. Plus, it's so short even I can reach most of the peaches and OFB only has to harvest the top! Plums are still on our to-get list, and the two I want are Stanley, a super-cold-hardy Italian-style prune plum, and Green Gage, an heirloom that's supposedly the most delicious of all plums. Both are self-fertile, and both can be purchased as dwarfs. Good luck with all your trees!!!---Silence

  10. Rachel mentioned above Indian Free peach. I have it, it is a white late season peach, the flavor is outstanding. For a yellow peach baby crawford is fantastic. I cannot grow it here because of climate, but I wish I could.

    Santa Rosa plums are really juicy and have a good balance of sugar an acid. I grow them and they are great, but my plum choices are much fewer than yours because of climate. Do consider Ben's advice because Italian prunes and specially Green Gage plums are truly outstanding fruit and are very hard to find unless you grow your own. I guess first you need to choose between a Japanese or a European variety. If japanese, Santa Rosa is excellent, if you prefer the flavor of European plums, Green Gage or Italian prune is the way to go.

  11. Sorry, can't help you with your selection, but good luck with it. Just think, Daphne, with the size of your new lot, you'll never have to say no to seeds again !

  12. Nothing better then seeds in the mail box! I started my tomatoes recently as well, on the 16th. Great minds think alike or live in a similar zone :-) Maybe you could look into getting an apple tree grafted with two kinds to make the selection easier...

  13. michelle, I wonder how low acid. Does that mean I can't can without adding acidity? Though white peaches aren't my favorite. Not for the taste mind you, I just like the orange flesh. It makes me thing I'm getting my flavanoids.

    Annie's Granny, divorce him? I'd kill him. How could he do such a thing? I guess I never have those issues. My husband hates getting his hands dirty so the yard is mine except when I make him come out to help, which is very rarely.

    Stefaneener, they seem really popular here too.

    The Mom, I like cortlands for sauce. They are pretty good.

    NoviceLife, all the ones I seem to like the best are fairly recent introductions. No heirlooms at all.

    fairegarden, oh I have so much to occupy myself. I have to remember to print out the garden plan so I can work on it at work today (we get a lot of slow times at work, I've always learned to bring things to do so as not to be bored to death).

    Silence, yeah I suspect I'll put little nylon coverings on all the apples as pest control. I figure it works for just about everything and I don't have to use chemicals. It will be a lot of work, but only once a season. I've heard of Green Gage. It sounds really interesting. I've never had a green plum before.

    Angela, I know very little about plums. I don't really eat them much. I like them, but compared to peaches when I have a choice I go for peaches. I figure if I'm putting in trees I should have a bit of a variety though. I don't know the taste difference between a Japanese and a European variety. They don't usually label the variety names in the store.

    Miss M, oh that would be nice. I think I'm going to need some more seed storage containers though.

    Dan, I think it is a similar zone. Both zone 6. I keep wondering if I'm going to be moving to zone 7 or not. Sometimes urban areas have warmer climates, though it is only 15 minutes from my current house.