Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Apple picking continues....

We sold out early last Sunday at Winchester due to coming to the end of the Epicure apples and the damsons, we also had some yellow plums and early picked Sunset apples which went well.

The yellow plums have an interesting story, the tree grew in the garden of the first house we bought, in Southampton in 1981. We liked it and took some suckers when we moved, which fruited true, indicating that the fruit was growing on its own roots. We have propagated it and believe it to be Warwickshire Drooper, but it could be Goldfinch, Yellow Egg plum or maybe even a new variety grown from a stone. Anyway, we shall have a few more at Sunnyfields this Saturday. We pick them when they are green turning yellow and they ripen to orangey yelow with red spots, at which stage they are LOVELY for raw eating you can also do anything else with them. Here's a video

Some people only ever want Victoria, but probably they hardly taste any other plums. The trouble with plums is some years you have no crop due to bad weather at blossom time, other years you have a good crop, and so does everyone else. Plums don't store or travel well so have to be marketed quickly. But they are worth it when fully ripe.

We tried picking a few Sunset as they were colouring up and frankly we have a gap due to the catastrophic crop failure of Lord Lambourne this year, due to poor pollination followed by fungal disease (3rd wet summer in a row). Once we have picked what little crop there is, I shall spray copper fungicide. Anyway, although the Sunset are very sharp to my taste, people liked them and we sold 2 boxes (about 15 kilos to a box). On Bank Holiday Monday, yesterday, we went over the trees and selectively picked the reddest and heaviest apples, gales are forecast and we don't want them to blow off.

We also picked the Ribston Pippin, they look well coloured, were starting to fall freely and campoe off easily, I posted a youtube video whcih I'll try to paste here. They will need a few weeks stored before they will be fully ripe.

I may also pick a few sloes for Saturday. I'm also at Bishop's Waltham on Sunday 10-2, our first trip to a market there.


  1. I came across your site, probably like most people, whilst researching orchards. I have a small plot of land which has a 2 apple trees (very old), 2 damson trees and a rather one sided pear tree. The rest I have used for veg but am keen to build a small orchard - as much for recreation as fruit. Keep up the good work. By the way the new blog is excellent.

  2. Hello, Stephen,
    I was directed here when I looked at your old website. Good luck with the new one.
    I'd like to ask a question, if I may. I was planning to top graft a (scabby) Cox next year, this year was my first with significant scab. I was encouraged by looking at your youtube tutorials.
    I note you cut scions in February - where do you store them when waiting to graft later in Spring? I have fridge, cold garage or deep freeze available.


    David Baker

  3. Thanks David. the web site will be completely remade over the autumn and winter, probably later rather than sooner due to work.

    top working over a Cox to a more productive variety is a good plan, be sure to eliminate any diseased wood. I recommend cutting the scion wood as late in winter as you can PROVIDED it is still completely dormant. As a rule, this means late February.

    I store my scion wood wrapped in a polythene bag in the fridge. Do bnot let them dry out or become frozen. If you don't have space in a fridge, store them in a cool place. You can wrap them in a wet sack in a shed. The key thing is they must be ket cool and damp.

    Grafting isn't too difficult if you have a sharp knife, a steady hand and get the timing right and tie in well. And seal correctly, I use Tenax grafting wax which works fine.




Welcome to the Fruitwise Heritage Apples blog. Feel free to leave a comment, I will try to respond where appropriate but FAQs may have been already addressed in my YouTube videos or the http://www.fruitwise.net site. Remember, I am not a professional fruit grower, only an enthusiastic experienced amateur. Any and all advice is offered freely and with sincere good faith, but remember I might be mistaken, and my preferences,
soil and climate may be different from yours which would diminish the relevance of my advice, so check other sources before acting. In any event, I am not responsible for any outcomes!

Kind regards to all.