Archive for July, 2015

Potting session 1

For many plants, the best time for repotting is early spring just before their active growing begins. We’re now in the middle of winter, but because I have missed this window of opportunity to repot for a couple of years, I have a back log of trees to repot.

Especially for my Wisterias, I would like to repot them just before bud swell, so I’m starting to pot early with some of my other trees so that I’m not rushing the whole lot at the same time.
That’s why this is potting session 1. In this session, I potted up my Clementine Mandarin and Valencia orange, moving them from their nursery bags. I got these from Aldi when they were marked down to $10 each. Bargains, considering grafted citrus trees are sold between $20 to $30 dollars nowadays and more if they’re dwarfs. These are just regular grafts, but since they’re cheap, I’m more than happy to experiment growing them in pots. These went into two self-watering pots that are wider on the top, which should be ideal for citrus having their feeder roots on the surface. I got these from Reject shop for $16 each. Because these pots are a little wide on the top for the current roots, I have transplanted a couple of strawberries, and sown some vegetables and flower seeds on the rim to try eliminate problems with overpotting.

I’ve also up potted my Gorgeous crabapple, but have discovered a few curl grubs, and the root system have shrunk compare to when I first bought it a few years back, so the larger pot I’ve moved it into is actually too big for the root system. I’ve sown some lettuces around it too. I hope the tree would survive, I think I should give the top a hard prune as well to balance out the root prune by the grubs…

The goji berries is potted back in the same pot with fresh potting mix. I ran out of potting mix when I first planted the goji berries, and I had mushroom compost on hand at the time, so I used mainly mushroom compost, and it obviously didn’t like it much, hopefully it’ll do better with the repot.

That’s all I had time for on the weekend. I had planned to do the fig as well, but ran out of time, so I’ll do it in the next session. Hopefully soon…

Repot session 1


Airlayering Crabapple follow up

It was October last year when I attempted the airlayer on my crabapple, and in that post I was planning to update in a couple of months.
Well, I did check in a couple of months, but I did not feel that there were any roots forming, so I did not post a follow up.

As time went on, one of the airlayer “bag” fell off, the ziplock bag opened and some of the coir fell out, and the only one left intact was the bubble wrap one so I did not have high hopes for them. I’m planning to repot my crabapple, so I went and removed what’s left of all the airlayer bags, and discovered there were roots in the bubble wrap one!!!

The coir in there was dried, and I’m not sure how long they’ve been dried for, and whether the roots are alive or not. So I wrapped it with clear thick packing plastic this time with fresh potting mix. Hopefully more and stronger roots will form in spring, and then I’ll try to cut this off.

Lessons learnt:-

  • If the airlayer “bag” stay intact, there’s a chance there may be roots.
  • Try not to use bubble wrap for better visibility and ‘feel’
  • Use sticky tape to tape plastic film close around the trunk
  • Do not use sandwich bag ties, they’re too short and difficult to work with
  • Do not use plastic cable ties. The piece of plastic I tried to wrap around the trunk this time round keeps slipping out of the cable tie
  • May need to water the airlayer “bags”

    Remains of the airlayer bags

    Showing dried coir medium


    Wrapping it up again

  • More fruit trees

    Training fruit trees, such as espalier, in small space is an important skill to have nowadays if one want to grow a variety of fruit trees with the ever decreasing size of housing blocks and increasing size of houses. There are many books and articles on training trees, and all of them appears to recommend plants like apples, pears, currents, berries, citrus, persimmons, and stone fruits.

    Living in Brisbane, there are a wide variety of fruit trees that are suited to subtropical climates to choose from, but not many of those fruit trees mentioned above. Also, I personally love tropical fruits like mangos, longans, mangosteens, and durians etc. I know we’re not hot enough for mangosteens and durians, but I’d love to have different varieties of mangos and longans so that I have supplies of them over the entire season. Fruits trees, especially grafted named varieties are not cheap to buy, and it can get costly to experiment on them. Therefore, I’m thinking about propagating some myself for experiments ~

    So far, I have tried air-layer, cuttings, and growing from seeds. Air-layer has been a complete failure, and growing from seeds takes a long time to bear fruits and quality is unpredictable, so I’ll be concentrating on cuttings.

    Things I would like to try and have plants on hand are:-
    Tahitian lime
    Sungold peach
    Dwarf black mulberries (had success before)
    Valencia orange
    Wurtz Avocado
    Nam Roi Pummelo
    Prunus Mume (Chinese plum, Japanese apricots)

    Blueberry from cuttings

    Blueberry from cuttings

    Blueberry cuttings strike successfully from spring last year doing well.