Apples grafted on G890 rootstock

April this year we cleft grafted a delicious unknown variety I found locally onto G890 rootstocks. We grafted 5 and got 100% to take. They grew very vigorously to 5ft tall before going dormant. They are in 3 gallon pots and did great. I’m storing them in my garage during winter dormancy then early next spring I’ll plant them in ground. They are single whips now. I’m hoping they become free standing trees. I think the unknown variety is possibly Golden Delicious. I’m in zone 6b WV

Also when I plant them in ground should I head them to start branching? What pruning methods would you all recommend for next spring when I plant them in ground ?

I’m really impressed with the amount of growth their first season. Below is the potting soil an fertilizer I used

Soil:
Miracle-Gro potting MIX not soil
Add 17% Ep minerals Calcined clay pellets

Fertilizer:
Miracle-Gro water soluble 24-8-16 half strength weekly.
Epsom salt 1/2 tsp per gallon of water weekly




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My results don’t resemble yours. Have a couple 5-footers out of quite a number after 3 seasons. Perhaps I didn’t use as much fertilizer. :crazy_face:

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For G890 they will typically not grow much higher than 8-10’. Wait on topping until you have 4-5 nice scaffolds that start growing next spring. Keep a central leader shape, although G890 is stable without staking, try to get an Even distribution of scaffolds around the perimeter for load balancing. Once you have trained the scaffolds in place top the tree above your last scaffold.
Dennis
Kent, wa

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@BlueBerry thank you. I did fertilize pretty heavily

@DennisD thank you for the advice

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Those look like my g.890 graft——about 5’ and straight up and down.

I’ll try notching above the petioles this spring to try and get some branches.

Way too soon to make any conclusions but promising so far.

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@kokopelli5A good to hear. Im going to notch next spring also

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I like your soil mixture with calcined clay! I have imported loads of native clay from our local river valley and use it in a similar way to help water retention in my soil. Clay is probably one of the best natural product to help improve soil as it attracts and holds moisture keeping the other soil particles more moist than the would otherwise be. It tells in your plant growth. Great idea! When you plant them add more to your planting hole backfill by mixing it in well, then once planted mulch the tree with woodchips about 4-6” deep starting about 2-3” from the trunk. Your trees will love the sending their feeder roots up to the mulch layer. Aged woodchips are best as they already are breaking down into topsoil.
Dennis
Kent, wa

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@DennisD Thank you for the advice ill do that

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If the ground is still soft, I would plant them now. I like fall planting.

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Agree

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My first apple on a G890 (grafted several 3, 4 years ago) should be on a Niedz. red flesh apple…tree is 5 feet tall in a black pot and has no side branches, but is covered head to toe in bloom buds.
(It bloomed last year but set no fruit.)

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What do you think of this potting mix? Seems to be a bit cheaper than miracle-gro and certified organic.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Kellogg-Garden-Organics-2-cu-ft-All-Natural-Raised-Bed-and-Potting-Mix-Premium-Outdoor-Container-Mix-6490/205617903#overlay Btw, thanks for the information. I am inspired :slight_smile:

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Ive never tried that mix. But should be ok I would add 15% to 20% perlite by volume

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@BlueBerry im hoping mine branches out next season when they go in ground. May try some notching an bap paste

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I’ve settled down to using g.41/g.969/Dolgo as the rootstocks I will use this year.

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I do have a couple other cultivars on G890 that are limbed ok…but not enough height and no blooms the third leaf. Only the Niedz. bloomed third leaf on the G890 rootstock.

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Potting mixes always seem like a ripoff to me.

My G.890 is in a homemade mixture of a big pile (1 yard+) composted wood chips I got from the transfer station decomposed for like a year using urea fertilizer, Turface calcined clay I got at a landscape supply place some vermiculite I got in an industrial-sized bag and a very small amount of sopping wet peat moss I added mostly because I had it lying around.

I screened the composted chips using rabbit wire and put the larger stuff at the bottom of my 40 gallon pot. I have a piece of fine screen in case I need it.

I did spike the chips with micro nutrients which I use from time to time anyway, when they were decomposing.

Worked great! I can’t remember the proportions, but you know, play it by ear and don’t be parsimonious with the clay and vermiculite.

It’s a pain until you get ahead on your supply of decomposed wood chips, I admit. But of course, that’s another thing you can use all the time once you have it in quantity.

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That is interesting. We have a large pile of 3 year old weathered wood chips from Asplunda trimmers we allowed to be dumped. Would that be a decent start for a mix? Seems there are earthworms working the bottom layers of it. We have a very fast draining, high sand loam here. Some small amounts of organic material. It is not white, but yellowish with some leaf matter.

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Sure, but what I am describing is not organic, that’s for sure. I should say that if you have a good supply of chicken manure use that instead of urea. You can probably skip fooling with the micronutrients if you do that.

Also, in my experience, a big pile of wood chips like that is a steady and more importantly, long-term, N sink long after it is “finished” as they say.

I’ve gotten in the habit of drenching my “finished“ pile with a bucket of water in winter with urea diluted to about animal urine strength every couple of weeks weather permitting, so long as the pile remains large, just to keep the ball rolling.

I am also spiking the pile with micro nutrients based on a test I got years ago. Who knows if that is really helpful? The indicated micros( for me, Iron, Zinc, Boron and Copper,)are cheap enough to obtain at least. As a one-time charge, a $30 test isn’t unreasonable either.

P.S. The end product is pretty acidic for me. Stick a ph strip in the end product pour a little distilled water around it and lime it to where you want based on the reading.

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Oh well. I have 160 chickens; so chicken poop I have. Also a half acre of year old cow poop. And a lot of old rabbit poop from our old rabbit raising pens.