What's Happening Today - 2019 Edition


Glad to hear you folks in the eastern side have a grafting show. That’s a nice collection of wood too. I was on Shaw Island this weekend and was able to visit a little grafting demonstation. I was excited to learn there are still orchards left fron settlers in the 1800s. My kind of place. :hugs:


Got new battery for sprayer, it charged right up and made a vigorous noise. NOW I can start the season!


The scions included quite a bunch of once-thought-extinct apples found and propagated by Dave Benscoter. I wasn’t in a position to take advantage of them this time around.

Got my hands on MN 1734 & hope to make it work here!

Also Twenty Ounce. After deluding myself it grew out back & finding it on hand, snagged some for trial.
Once again I feel like a kid in a candy store with a $10.00 bill.

Had to look up Shaw Island - find it in the San Juan group. Never had the pleasure in the decade when I lived near Tacoma.


My sprayer is battery operated as well. I feel so dumb that I carried the other sprayers by hand. I put mine in my large garden wagon and haul it around that way. It’s great!


Did you learn anything about these rediscovered apples? I wonder if any are good desserts or are they more cooking or cider types. Sounds like it was a fun time.

Meanwhile is is 72 degrees today! Time to kick the lettuce and bok choi outside so I can start the heat lovers. Also I need to plant a handful of Marionberries. Hope it is warming up on the eastside as well.


I have a 3-gallon tank sprayer I use for herbicide - fasten it to a hand truck with a bungee cord and pull it around


I couldn’t stand all those rules!

I feel for you. :cry::cry::cry:


I call that thing a cider apple. Is that your opinion?



In my area there is a foundation repair company which claims the the heaviest equip they use is a wheel barrow. They guarantee their work. They fixed the neighbor’s house. I think it’s only a local company (called Olshan) but there may be a local company in your area which does the same.


Quill: I went outside to check buds yesterday. Nary a one beginning to swell, but weather warming into 60s today and tomorrow. 4" snow standing in yard still.
Of the apples Dave Benscoter has recovered, he finds Shackleford tastiest. He also found Autumn Gray - a smaller russet - to be pretty good.
Maybe I should notify you when the next one comes up in March 2020? My wife is good company and we have spare beds.


U MN says as much about MN 1734. Dave Benscoter grew some samples last year and liked 'em. Not enough to make cider with yet. I hope to introduce it to my yard and an orchard nearby with that possibility in mind. Otherwise, I’m going with it simply because of what I’ve read about it, which is that it is a vigorous tree, hardier than needed here, no disease worries, heavy crops, average size fruit is covered in russet and tasty enough; often used in cider, keeps over winter - into spring? - probably mid-group bloom.

I’m interested in apples many people would otherwise overlook. So far those growing here are:

Winekist (ruby red inside, ripe July 20; tasty tart, 12 Brix)
Rambour Franc (ripe mid-August, most of debut crop dropped early, terribly biennial; will be mostly top-worked this year)
Bardsey (rare, from Wales, September: juicy and persistent lemon scent; slow to come into full bearing, but worth it; very drought tolerant; very short stems)
Lamb Abbey Pearmain (English apple from American seed of Newtown Pippin; slow growing & will take several more years before I may let it offer debut fruit)
Edelborsdorfer (ancient German, yellow, shaped like a top, ripe early September here; upright growth)
Redfield (pink/red flesh, bomb-proof tree and fruit; ornamental & useful; codling moths pass it by)
Rosemary Russet (likened to Ashmead’s Kernel but better growing characteristics; started in '18)
Claygate Pearmain (hot pink & small with mighty good sugar/acid & juice; very little tree)
GoldRush (just started it in '17; doing well so far)
Connell Red (Wis. bud sport of MN Fireside; started on a whim; might bloom this or next year)
Hunt Russet (obscure apple from Concord, Mass. 1750; deserves better; might become my favorite)

Last year grafted two cider apples from Maine (thank you Ozzie & John!): Shavel Sharp & Tarecap Bitter. Air-layered Shavel and potted it last year. Will air-layer Tarecap this season and hope to get both to nearby orchard next spring.

Waiting to be grafted: Maiden Blush, Discovery, Orléans Reinette, MN 1734, Twenty Ounce, Golden Harvey, Dabinett, Glockenapfel & (Mere Pippin, thank you Skillcult!)


I think you’ll be pleased with MN1734. I have a couple of branches of it. Can’t really chew it, but it has a surprising winey flavor.


Most embarrassing! I try to provide an extra pair of hands during grafting seminars, but I’m a lot more careful there than I am at home. Probably my reluctance to pick up a box cutter during class sets a poor example.


MN 1734, “surprising winey flavor.”

Interesting - as in the taste of Winesap? My lifetime favorite. I’m in!


I think my olive tree is going to bloom along with a toka plum and a mystery peach



I asked about Winesap while planting my backyard, but my nurseryman didn’t think it would do this far north (5b). I remember my folks back in Indiana buying it from a nearby orchard. It’s a southern apple and needs a long growing season. I’ve not heard the flavor or MN1734 compared to Winesap, however.


This weekend I reconditioned my two raised veggie beds. I add some sphagnum moss, manure, and garden soil. Mixed everything, created three raised rows per bed, then put up some 3/4" pvc pipe to help the vining veggies.

I bought a flat of mixed tomato seedlings and put 4 in the ground (Roma, Early Girl, Beefmaster, & Celebrity), I’ll give away the remaining two to neighbors. I also bought a single yellow cherry tomato and put that in. I have a volunteer red cherry tomato plant that popped up a couple of months ago, it’s already started to produce. I trimmed it back as it was starting to sprawl.

Next week I’ll plant the zucchini, cucumber, and snap pea seedlings that I grew out from seed.

(That’s Shadow photo bombing the veggie bed! This afternoon I saw a bunch of suspicious footprints in the dirt, I’ll have to put up some wire fencing to keep her out.)


Old fashioned Winesap works beautifully here, and this used to be zone 5. Until the new owners cut it down, there was one in a yard dating back to 1955.
It is true we get a load of sunlight and heat - a more intense summer than most parts farther east. Folk on this site encouraged me to try GoldRush because of the “heat units.”
Will report on it when the news is worth sharing. So far, GoldRush is doing what it’s supposed to do.


I have a Stayman’s grafted to my tree and it has been happy for years. Sometimes, not always, I get a decent crop.


Kids helped out preparing a bed and sowing beet seeds. Did that after work/school yesterday just in time for rain today. Also cleaned out part of the veggie garden and sprinkled preen on it to keep the weed under control. Once it starts to grow it’ll be hard to control. This year I’m going with prevention.