Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Get your science fix here: research, quackery, activism and all the rest
User avatar
Aitch
Snowbonk
Posts: 395
Joined: Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:53 am

Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by Aitch » Mon May 31, 2021 5:44 pm

OK, since the start of the first lock-down, I have been growing a 'tree' from an apple pip.
It is now about 15" tall, but very spindly and only has leaves on it, no branches, er, branching off it.
To get it to start growing branches, should I pinch out the latest baby leaves at the top or what?

Thanks.
Some people call me strange.
I prefer unconventional.
But I'm willing to compromise and accept eccentric
.

User avatar
Bird on a Fire
Princess POW
Posts: 7177
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:05 pm
Location: Portugal

Re: Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by Bird on a Fire » Mon May 31, 2021 7:29 pm

Yes, if you pinch off the growing tip at the top it should start investing more in lateral branching.
He has the grace of a swan, the wisdom of an owl, and the eye of an eagle—ladies and gentlemen, this man is for the birds!

User avatar
Aitch
Snowbonk
Posts: 395
Joined: Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:53 am

Re: Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by Aitch » Mon May 31, 2021 8:45 pm

Thanks. I suspected that was the answer, but having spent fifteen(?) months growing it, didn't want to kill it off by doing the wrong thing.

Presumably it will also promote more growth in the roots and trunk and it will get less spindly too.
Some people call me strange.
I prefer unconventional.
But I'm willing to compromise and accept eccentric
.

User avatar
dyqik
Light of Blast
Posts: 4323
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2019 4:19 pm
Location: Masshole
Contact:

Re: Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by dyqik » Mon May 31, 2021 10:53 pm

Don't do anything yet!

After that, it depends what shape you want to prune/train it into.

If you want the single central leader/vase shape, don't pinch it yet. Give it two or three years before pruning, and it'll be growing side branches. The first few years will be just growing the central leader.

See https://www.starkbros.com/growing-guide ... es/pruning

We got our apple trees from them as bare root 2-3ft sticks, probably 18 months old, grafted into semi-dwarf root stock. At 6 years, they are now 12 ft trees with several major side limbs, and have flowered once.

User avatar
Gfamily
Stummy Beige
Posts: 3019
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:00 pm
Location: NW England

Re: Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by Gfamily » Mon May 31, 2021 11:13 pm

Aitch wrote:
Mon May 31, 2021 8:45 pm
Thanks. I suspected that was the answer, but having spent fifteen(?) months growing it, didn't want to kill it off by doing the wrong thing.

Presumably it will also promote more growth in the roots and trunk and it will get less spindly too.
Not necessarily - most apple varieties are grown on the rootstocks of other apple trees - as it's the rootstock that determines the way the 'tree' grows.

Bear in mind that most apple varieties aren't capable of self pollinating, so the seeds produced are going to be a hybrid, so any apples you get (if you get that far) are almost certainly not going to be the same as the variety you ate.

If you were going to be grafting your 'tree' onto a rootstock, you would expect to let it grow on until it's about the thickness of a pencil - so I wouldn't nip out the terminal bud until it's about that size either.
My avatar was a scientific result that was later found to be 'mistaken' - I rarely claim to be 100% correct
ETA 5/8/20: I've been advised that the result was correct, it was the initial interpretation that needed to be withdrawn
Meta? I'd say so!

User avatar
basementer
Dorkwood
Posts: 1047
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:03 pm
Location: Aotearoa
Contact:

Re: Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by basementer » Tue Jun 01, 2021 12:05 am

I believe I remember.Martin Y has grown one from pip to fruiting tree. Is that right? How many years did it take?
Money is just a substitute for luck anyway. - Tom Siddell

User avatar
Aitch
Snowbonk
Posts: 395
Joined: Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:53 am

Re: Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by Aitch » Tue Jun 01, 2021 7:37 am

So much for 'simple'!
dyqik wrote:
Mon May 31, 2021 10:53 pm
Don't do anything yet!

After that
, it depends what shape you want to prune/train it into.
Er, that's a bit vague, timewise.
Gfamily wrote:
Mon May 31, 2021 11:13 pm
Not necessarily - most apple varieties are grown on the rootstocks of other apple trees - as it's the rootstock that determines the way the 'tree' grows.

Bear in mind that most apple varieties aren't capable of self pollinating, so the seeds produced are going to be a hybrid, so any apples you get (if you get that far) are almost certainly not going to be the same as the variety you ate.
Yeah, I knew that, but I don't really care about it in this case. ;)
Some people call me strange.
I prefer unconventional.
But I'm willing to compromise and accept eccentric
.

IvanV
Snowbonk
Posts: 505
Joined: Mon May 17, 2021 11:12 am

Re: Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by IvanV » Tue Jun 01, 2021 9:40 am

Aitch wrote:
Tue Jun 01, 2021 7:37 am
Gfamily wrote:
Mon May 31, 2021 11:13 pm
... so any apples you get (if you get that far) are almost certainly not going to be the same as the variety you ate.
Yeah, I knew that, but I don't really care about it in this case. ;)
An apple tree grown from a pip is know as a "wildling". Quite a few are found along roadsides where someone once threw an apple core out of the window.

The apples from wildlings are often not very nice to eat. They can be very sharp or bitter, like cider apples, or prone to disease. They are reverting to something like a crab apple. But sometimes you are lucky. If your "don't really care" means "no intention to eat the apples", then fair enough.

There's a lovely novel called "The Wildling" by Maria McCann, the main character being a cider presser, set in the 17th century.

User avatar
Martin Y
After Pie
Posts: 2209
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:08 pm

Re: Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by Martin Y » Tue Jun 01, 2021 9:45 am

basementer wrote:
Tue Jun 01, 2021 12:05 am
I believe I remember.Martin Y has grown one from pip to fruiting tree. Is that right? How many years did it take?
Ah, true, but we were a bad example. Maybe a dozen years. Our sprouted pip lingered neglected in a too-small pot for a few years, growing only a couple of feet tall and I eventually planted it in an unfavoured spot out of pity and curiosity. It blossomed halfheartedly after what was probably 8 or 9 years and the following year even produced one or two barely-grown apples. The next year it produced a handful more, one solitary example of which was a beautiful, full-sized and frankly delicious fruit. Thus satisfied by its efforts it's done f.ck all for a couple of years since. Not a hint of blossom this year.

PS That one nice apple has made me wonder about the possibility of getting a cutting grafted onto healthy rootstock and trying to grow a more successful tree. I don't know if that's a practical proposition and have nowhere to plant it if we did.

User avatar
basementer
Dorkwood
Posts: 1047
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:03 pm
Location: Aotearoa
Contact:

Re: Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by basementer » Tue Jun 01, 2021 10:13 am

I remember that when growing tomatoes, one shifts the fertiliser mix from one that promotes leafage to one that promotes flower and fruit development. It's just a change in NPK balance. I wonder if your apple tree might like a splash of tomato fertiliser next spring?
Money is just a substitute for luck anyway. - Tom Siddell

IvanV
Snowbonk
Posts: 505
Joined: Mon May 17, 2021 11:12 am

Re: Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by IvanV » Tue Jun 01, 2021 10:33 am

Martin Y wrote:
Tue Jun 01, 2021 9:45 am
That one nice apple has made me wonder about the possibility of getting a cutting grafted onto healthy rootstock and trying to grow a more successful tree.
This is a service some nurseries provide, though it's rather more expensive than just buying a tree.

Apple trees being useless at fruiting is a problem even with well-known varieties, if they aren't given the conditions they like and competently managed. I've got 3 small trees and only one is any good. There are some reasons for thinking my back garden is not the cleverest place to grow an apple tree.

User avatar
dyqik
Light of Blast
Posts: 4323
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2019 4:19 pm
Location: Masshole
Contact:

Re: Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by dyqik » Tue Jun 01, 2021 10:54 am

Aitch wrote:
Tue Jun 01, 2021 7:37 am
So much for 'simple'!
dyqik wrote:
Mon May 31, 2021 10:53 pm
Don't do anything yet!

After that
, it depends what shape you want to prune/train it into.
Er, that's a bit vague, timewise.
I did clarify a bit after that.

You prune apple trees in mid to late winter while they are dormant, so that's the earliest you should do anything anyway.

User avatar
dyqik
Light of Blast
Posts: 4323
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2019 4:19 pm
Location: Masshole
Contact:

Re: Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by dyqik » Tue Jun 01, 2021 10:56 am

basementer wrote:
Tue Jun 01, 2021 10:13 am
I remember that when growing tomatoes, one shifts the fertiliser mix from one that promotes leafage to one that promotes flower and fruit development. It's just a change in NPK balance. I wonder if your apple tree might like a splash of tomato fertiliser next spring?
Fertilizing apple trees is a different thing as they aren't annuals. My link above is to an 11 part guide to growing apple trees, which covers that in part 5 or 6.

User avatar
Tessa K
Stummy Beige
Posts: 2906
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:07 pm
Location: Closer than you'd like

Re: Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by Tessa K » Fri Oct 08, 2021 9:27 am

I have two violas in one pot on my balcony. The bastard slugs keep eating one but not the other. for some reason. I'm doing slug patrol every day but I think they're sneaking in at night. Any suggestions? As it's only one pot there's no point investing in a big anti-slug system but I am determined to stop the little f.ckers.

User avatar
Gfamily
Stummy Beige
Posts: 3019
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:00 pm
Location: NW England

Re: Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by Gfamily » Fri Oct 08, 2021 9:33 am

Tessa K wrote:
Fri Oct 08, 2021 9:27 am
I have two violas in one pot on my balcony. The bastard slugs keep eating one but not the other. for some reason. I'm doing slug patrol every day but I think they're sneaking in at night. Any suggestions? As it's only one pot there's no point investing in a big anti-slug system but I am determined to stop the little f.ckers.
You've tried vaseline around the rim of the pot? That generally works - and make sure that there's no other plants overhanging the pot that gives a bridge for slugs to use to get to the violas
My avatar was a scientific result that was later found to be 'mistaken' - I rarely claim to be 100% correct
ETA 5/8/20: I've been advised that the result was correct, it was the initial interpretation that needed to be withdrawn
Meta? I'd say so!

User avatar
Bird on a Fire
Princess POW
Posts: 7177
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:05 pm
Location: Portugal

Re: Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Oct 08, 2021 11:53 am

I've heard mulching with something sharp like crushed eggshells can help, but haven't tested it empirically.

Note that slugs spend the day in the soil, so it could be a single bastard hiding in your pot and coming out at night. Easiest method might be to apprehend it and send it to slug jail / the pavement.
He has the grace of a swan, the wisdom of an owl, and the eye of an eagle—ladies and gentlemen, this man is for the birds!

User avatar
tenchboy
Catbabel
Posts: 981
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:18 pm
Location: Down amongst the potamogeton.

Re: Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by tenchboy » Fri Oct 08, 2021 12:21 pm

Yeah, that ^ was my first thought; if you're up on a balcony, I would have thought the access (slug-wise) is limited and so the slugs you are finding are probably already there; maybe having got there as eggs in one of your potted plants; pick them off by hand at dawn and drive them out to the marshes and dispose of them humanely. Lift the plant from the pot and look for a cavity containing a dozen or so creamy-pale-yellow rubbery balls about 2mm in diameter: that's yer eggs. And look under the rims of the pots and under the pots (and anything else lying around) for the slugs themselves.
A small scale science solution that I have never tried involves a strip of copper wire around the base of the pot which sets up something electrolyticly (like silver* foil on an old fashioned filling) when the slug crosses it and deters the slug thus wise - but if El Sluggo is already in the pot...
Like I say I've never tried it and I've no idea if it works or is a Myth. Google it and see what you get.

User avatar
Fishnut
Dorkwood
Posts: 1587
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:15 pm
Location: UK

Re: Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by Fishnut » Fri Oct 08, 2021 5:42 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Oct 08, 2021 11:53 am
I've heard mulching with something sharp like crushed eggshells can help, but haven't tested it empirically.

Note that slugs spend the day in the soil, so it could be a single bastard hiding in your pot and coming out at night. Easiest method might be to apprehend it and send it to slug jail / the pavement.
Slugs aren't particularly afraid of sharp stuff.
slug on knife.jpg
slug on knife.jpg (14.57 KiB) Viewed 249 times
Coffee grounds don't stop them either.

The more I look into the 'natural' remedies the more I think they're mostly rubbish. I'm seriously considering doing an experiment next year of the different methods and seeing what does and doesn't work. So far the suggestions I've seen are:
- Vaseline
- Copper
- Crushed egg shells
- WD40
- Sand
- Diatomaceous earth
- Coffee (others have debunked this one)
it's okay to say "I don't know"

User avatar
Tessa K
Stummy Beige
Posts: 2906
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:07 pm
Location: Closer than you'd like

Re: Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by Tessa K » Sat Oct 09, 2021 7:34 am

I've seen slug trails on the balcony quite often so I don't think they're coming from eggs and they're too big too be baby slugs (4-6cm). I've found most of them lurking under the leaves on the soil in the mornings.

Last night I put a ring of salt round the pot and either that worked or they weren't hungry.

What I can't work out is why they go for one viola and not the other in the same pot.

User avatar
shpalman
Light of Blast
Posts: 5583
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:53 pm
Location: One step beyond

Re: Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by shpalman » Sat Oct 09, 2021 12:36 pm

molto tricky

User avatar
discovolante
Stummy Beige
Posts: 2850
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:10 pm

Re: Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by discovolante » Sat Oct 09, 2021 1:49 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Fri Oct 08, 2021 5:42 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Oct 08, 2021 11:53 am
I've heard mulching with something sharp like crushed eggshells can help, but haven't tested it empirically.

Note that slugs spend the day in the soil, so it could be a single bastard hiding in your pot and coming out at night. Easiest method might be to apprehend it and send it to slug jail / the pavement.
Slugs aren't particularly afraid of sharp stuff.
slug on knife.jpg

Coffee grounds don't stop them either.

The more I look into the 'natural' remedies the more I think they're mostly rubbish. I'm seriously considering doing an experiment next year of the different methods and seeing what does and doesn't work. So far the suggestions I've seen are:
- Vaseline
- Copper
- Crushed egg shells
- WD40
- Sand
- Diatomaceous earth
- Coffee (others have debunked this one)
I would really love to know if any work. I had such a huge problem with slugs this year, they ate nearly all my vegetables. :(
I'M HEATING STREAKY BACON IN A TROUSER PRESS

User avatar
Bird on a Fire
Princess POW
Posts: 7177
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:05 pm
Location: Portugal

Re: Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sat Oct 09, 2021 9:07 pm

shpalman wrote:
Sat Oct 09, 2021 12:36 pm
slug rings doorbell
that was amazing, thanks
He has the grace of a swan, the wisdom of an owl, and the eye of an eagle—ladies and gentlemen, this man is for the birds!

User avatar
Martin Y
After Pie
Posts: 2209
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:08 pm

Re: Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by Martin Y » Sun Oct 10, 2021 1:15 pm

The thing that finally stopped slugs and snails from visiting one veg growing tub was winding bare copper wire around the tub halfway up. (Mrs Y has forbidden slug pellets lest poisoned slugs get eaten by birds.)

bagpuss
Dorkwood
Posts: 999
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:10 pm

Re: Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by bagpuss » Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:27 am

Martin Y wrote:
Sun Oct 10, 2021 1:15 pm
The thing that finally stopped slugs and snails from visiting one veg growing tub was winding bare copper wire around the tub halfway up. (Mrs Y has forbidden slug pellets lest poisoned slugs get eaten by birds.)
The "Organic" slug pellets made from ferric phosphate supposedly cause no harm to birds or other wildlife, or pets, or children. I use these and they are definitely effective.

User avatar
Martin Y
After Pie
Posts: 2209
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:08 pm

Re: Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by Martin Y » Mon Oct 11, 2021 2:11 pm

bagpuss wrote:
Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:27 am
Martin Y wrote:
Sun Oct 10, 2021 1:15 pm
The thing that finally stopped slugs and snails from visiting one veg growing tub was winding bare copper wire around the tub halfway up. (Mrs Y has forbidden slug pellets lest poisoned slugs get eaten by birds.)
The "Organic" slug pellets made from ferric phosphate supposedly cause no harm to birds or other wildlife, or pets, or children. I use these and they are definitely effective.
That's well worth knowing. Thanks.

Post Reply